Linking to other posts in your own website or domain is called internal linking.
A WordPress site provides great built-in content linking features, such as custom menus, permalinks, text links, tags, categories, and archives pages, search results pages, link widgets, sidebar widgets (e.g. Latest Posts), entries RSS, a default link tool, continue reading tags, etc. Additional linking functionality can also be added to WordPress using a range of plugins. In short, WordPress is perfect for linking content both internally and externally.
In this tutorial you will learn how to insert internal links into WordPress using the advanced content link feature.
(WordPress Internal Linking Tool)
Internal Content Linking Benefits
Internal content links are simply hyperlinks in your content to other content on your website or blog.
Here is how Wikipedia defines internal linking …
“An internal link is a type of hyperlink on a webpage to another page or resource, such as an image or document, on the same website or domain. Hyperlinks are considered either “external” or “internal” depending on their target or destination. Generally, a link to a page outside the same domain or website is considered external, whereas one that points at another section of the same webpage or to another page of the same website or domain is considered internal.” (source: Wikipedia)
(Wikipedia’s pages provide loads of examples of internal content linking)
Adding links to web pages and posts provides many benefits, not only for website owners, but also for visitors and search engines. Internal content links allow users to access more content and helps search engine spiders index web site faster.
Benefit Of Content Links #1 – Improve Your Site Navigation And Create A Better User Experience
(Use internal linking to improve website usability and user experience.)
Websites are meant to provide visitors with relevant information. By providing users with easier access to other parts of your site containing more of the content they want to see, you not only improve the navigation of your website, you also create a better experience for your users.
Creating a better user experience means that visitors stay longer on your site and visit more pages. In a well-thought-out content marketing strategy, this creates better sales results.
It’s important to make sure that the content you are linking together is relevant for your users. For example, it makes sense to link your home page to your about us page.
Benefits Of Using Content Linking #2 – Improve Your Website’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
(Use internal content links to improve search rankings.)
Adding links in your content improves your SEO results. Linking to other posts or pages on your site helps search engine robots crawl pages faster and more easily than sites comprised only of of standalone posts and pages. This can drive more traffic to your website or blog.
An effective way to improve search engine optimization is to combine internal linking with keyword relevancy. This can easily be achieved by adding keyword terms to link URLs (called anchor text links).
For example, if your website provides travel services or advice, you could create a post on romantic travel tips and ideas and link the keywords “romantic cruises” to another section of your site about wedding destinations. This will help search engines get a better understanding of what your website is all about.
Using keyword-relevant text links is effective for search engines and visitors. You can add keyword-relevant text links to titles, body text, image captions, and so on.
(Use anchor text links on content titles, body text, image captions, etc.)
Benefit Of Internal Linking #3 – Increased Content Visibility & Exposure
(Use internal links to increase visibility & exposure for your content.)
In WordPress, as you continue adding new content to your site, older posts get pushed further down the chronology. This can cause your posts to become less popular.
If you have important content on older posts or pages that you would like more visitors to access, place internal links within the content of your more popular posts pointing to your less popular pages to increase their exposure, and/or add links to older posts to help them get found again by your site visitors and search engines.
The more content you have being seen by visitors and being indexed by search engines, the more visibility and exposure your business gets online … and this can lead to better results!
Using The WordPress Linking Tool
In WP v. 3.1, a link tool was introduced that lets you link content inside pages to other posts and pages. This feature was improved in WordPress v. 4.5 to include an inline linking tool.
Prior to the introduction of this feature, if you wanted to control your internal linking strategy, you would have to manually look for the page you wanted to link to, then copy its URL and manually paste and add a link to it in your content. Now, linking to WordPress posts and pages is very simple.
Here’s how you do it …
Log into your WordPress site, and find and open the post or page you would like to insert internal links into.
Next, find and highlight the text you would like to add a link to.
When you have selected and highlighted the text, click on the chain icon in the WordPress WYSIWYG editor menu (< this is an internal link!) …
(WordPress WYSIWYG editor menu – content linking feature)
If you find yourself In the ‘Text’ tab of the WordPress editor, click the ‘link’ button to access the feature …
(The link feature can also be accessed in the ‘Text’ tab of the content editor)
The Inline Linking tool will display below your selection …
Paste in the URL of your target link or start typing a word or keyword phrase related to the page or post you want to hyperlink in the field to find related content …
(Enter a search term to find related pages and posts)
Click the ’Return’ button to create the link …
(WordPress Inline Linking tool – Apply button)
Your link has now been added to the content …
(Hyperlink inserted into content)
You can access the advanced linking feature by clicking on the gear button …
(WordPress Inline Linking tool – ‘Link Options’ button)
This brings up the Insert/edit link window …
(Advanced linking feature)
This tool is divided into two sections:
Enter the destination URL
Paste in your target destination URL, enter the anchor text associated with the link and choose whether to open the link in a new window …
(WordPress Insert/edit link editor)
Or link to existing content
This is the linking section that lets you add internal links to your content. Enter a word or keyword phrase related to the post you want to hyperlink in the Search field. WordPress will automatically retrieve related posts and pages containing those words …
(Enter the search term to begin finding related posts and pages)
Select the title of the page or post you would like to link to, and the item’s URL automatically gets inserted into the destination URL section …
(Select the page or post to link to in your content)
Notice that the feature brings up both posts and pages …
(Link to posts or pages)
But you are not limited to regular posts or pages. You can also link to custom WordPress post types like products, image galleries, etc. …
(Link your content to custom post types in addition to default pages or posts)
If you would like to open your linked content in a new browser window, select the Open link in a new window/tab box and click the Add Link button to create your internal link …
(Tick the box to open your link in a new window)
Note that the ability to open links in a new window or tab can be used in both internal and external links …
(Open external and internal links in a new window – even external links to content about internal links!)
Congratulations … you have created an internal link to your content …
(An internal link … sublime and beautiful!)
WordPress Automatically Detects Broken Links
From WordPress 4.6, WordPress now automatically checks when you add hyperlinks to detect broken links. If you add a broken link (e.g. add a space in the URL), WordPress will let you know, allowing you to fix your link before publishing it to your site. …
(WordPress automatically detects broken links. Source: WordPress 4.6 Features)
WordPress can automatically detect if you type in a broken link but it can’t detect whether a correctly entered link leads to a ‘not found’ page error or a destination page that can’t be accessed (e.g. server down or website deleted).
To learn how to detect and repair broken links, see the tutorial below:
In version 4.8, WordPress introduced a new feature called Link Boundaries that fixes common issues users experience when trying to update a link or the text around a link and can’t seem to edit it correctly.
- Editing text after the link and finding that the new text also ends up linked,
- Editing text in the link but finding that text ends up outside of the link.
Link boundaries create a ‘shield’ around the link to help streamline the link editing process …
(New WordPress Feature – Link Boundaries)
To see this feature in action, watch the short video demo below:
Internal Link Options
You can format your internal links (e.g. you can italicize your link, make it bold, add color, etc …) using the format buttons in your WordPress visual content editor menu (< there’s that internal link again! :)) …
(You can format hyperlinks if you want users to notice them)
How To Remove Links To Content
No tutorial on adding content links is complete without showing you how to delete links that you no longer want, so let’s take care of this topic right now.
To delete a hyperlink from your posts or pages, just click anywhere on the link and then click either the ’remove’ icon on the link editor floating bar or the ‘Remove link’ tool on the WordPress content editor menu as shown below
(Removing hyperlinks is easy … you even get choices!)
Your link will be removed …
(Hyperlinks be gone!)
Plugins For Linking Content
So far, we have looked at how to create internal links to content manually using the built-in WordPress link function.
Are there plugins for WordPress that can do this task?
Yes, there are! As we explain here, there are WordPress plugins for just about everything. And if you can’t find a plugin that does what you are looking for, one can be created for you.
Also, depending on the kind of WordPress theme used on your site, you can get additional SEO benefits from internal linking features such as:
- Breadcrumb links
- Related posts
- Linking using widgets
In another article, we’ll discuss additional methods of linking content in WordPress, examine the benefits and challenges of automating content links in WordPress, and look at several WordPress plugins you can check out for creating links automatically in your content:
(Internal linking for SEO. Image source: No Sweat WP Internal Links Lite - WP plugin)
Congratulations! Now you know how easy it is to create internal content links in your WordPress pages and posts.
"These tutorials have so much information and are easy to understand. If you use WordPress or plan to in the future these will help you with everything you need to know." - Valisa (Mesa, Arizona)