According to Wikipedia, “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.”
A WordPress website or blog provides built-in content linking functions, such as menus, permalinks, text links, categories, tags, and archives pages, site search pages, link widgets, sidebar widgets (e.g. Latest Posts), entries RSS, a default linking tool, continue reading tags, etc. Additional linking functionality can also be added to WordPress using a range of plugins. In short, WordPress is an ideal platform for creating extensive content linking.
Linking to other pages in your WordPress website or domain has many SEO benefits. This tutorial explains how to create internal linking structures in WordPress using the internal content linking feature.
(WordPress Hyperlinking Tool)
Internal Linking – Benefits
Internal linking simply means adding hyperlinks in your content pointing to relevant content on posts and pages on your WordPress site.
As defined in Wikipedia …
“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 uses extensive internal content linking extensively)
Adding content links to pages has many benefits, not only for you as the website owner but also for your visitors and search engines. Internal links allow visitors to view more content. This helps search engines index your web site faster. Wikipedia is a great example of websites that use and benefit from internal links.
Benefits Of Content Linking #1 – Improved Site Usability And User Experience
(Use internal content linking to improve website navigation and create a better user experience.)
Websites are meant to provide visitors with the information they are searching for. By offering users easy access to other areas of your site containing more of the content they are searching for, you not only improve the quality of your site, but also your website’s user experience.
Creating a better user experience means that visitors stay longer on your site and visit more of your web pages. If you plan your marketing strategy well, this leads to improved sales conversions.
It’s important to make sure that the content you are actually linking together is relevant for users. For example, you may want to add links on your home page to your contact page.
Benefits Of Using Internal Content Linking #2 – Improved Search Rankings
(Use internal linking to improve your SEO.)
Adding internal content links improves your search engine optimization (SEO). Linking to other posts and pages on your website helps search indexing bots crawl your web pages faster and more easily than if your site contains only standalone pages and posts. This can result in more web traffic to your website.
An effective way of improving search engine optimization is to combine internal links with relevant keywords. This is easily achieved by adding keyword terms to hyperlinks (called anchor text links).
For example, if you provide wedding-related services or advice, you could hyperlink the phrase “green wedding gift ideas” from an article where you describe unusual wedding gifts to another section of your site containing a directory of wedding gift registries.
Using anchor text links is a lot more effective for both search engines and visitors. You can add keyword-relevant text links to titles, body text, image captions, and so on.
(You can use anchor text links on titles, body text, image captions, etc.)
Benefits Of Using Content Linking #3 – Get More Visibility And Exposure For Your Content
(Use internal links to increase visibility & exposure for your content.)
Over time, as you continue adding new content to your WordPress site, older posts get pushed down the chronology. This can cause many posts to become less visited.
If there is content on older posts that is not getting as much exposure as you would like, you can 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.
Having more of your content being seen by visitors and indexed by search engines means more visibility and exposure for your business … and this can lead to better results!
Using The Internal Link Tool In WordPress
In WP version 3.1, a link tool was introduced that lets you link content in posts to other posts and pages on your site. This feature was improved in WordPress 4.5 to include an inline linking editor.
Prior to the introduction of this advanced feature, if you wanted control over your internal linking strategy, you would have to manually search your site for the page to link to, then copy its URL and manually paste and add a link to it in your content. Now, performing internal linking operations inside pages and posts is really simple.
Here’s how to do it …
First, log into your WordPress admin area, locate and open the post or page you would like to create links in.
Next, highlight the keyword phrase you would like to create as a hyperlink.
When you have selected and highlighted the text, click on the insert/edit link feature in the WordPress visual editor menu (< this is an internal link!) …
(WordPress visual editor menu – content link tool)
If you find yourself In the ‘Text’ tab of the WordPress editor, click the ‘link’ button to access the linking feature …
(The link feature can also be accessed in the ‘Text’ tab of the content editor)
The Inline Linking tool appears below your highlighted keywords …
Paste in your link URL or enter a search term to bring up related pages and posts …
(Enter a search term to view related content)
Click the ’Return’ icon to insert your link …
(WordPress Inline Linking tool – Apply button)
Your link will be added to the content …
(Hyperlink added to content)
You can also access the advanced linking editor by clicking on the ‘Link Options’ icon …
(WordPress Inline Linking – ’Link Options’)
This brings up the Insert/edit link window …
(Internal content linking editor)
By default, you will see two sections:
Enter the destination URL
Paste in the URL of your target link, enter the Link Text to display with the link and tick the ‘Open link in a new window/tab’ box to open the link in a new window/tab …
(Insert/edit link tool)
Or link to existing content
This is the feature that allows you to create internal links. Start typing a word or keyword phrase related to the post or page you want to hyperlink into the Search field. WordPress automatically begins looking for pages and posts containing those words …
(Type in the search term to view related content)
Click on the page or post you would like to link to, and the URL of your selected item automatically gets inserted into the fields in the destination URL field …
(Select the page or post you would like to link your content to)
Notice that the feature shows you which content items are pages and which are posts …
(Link to pages or posts)
But you are not limited to pages or posts. If you use custom WordPress post types on your website or blog (e.g. products, videos, etc.), you can also create internal links to these …
(Link content in WordPress to custom post types in addition to default posts or pages)
If you would like the linked content to open in a new browser window, then select the Open link in a new window/tab box and click the Add Link button to create your internal link …
(Tick the box and your link will open in a new window)
Note that the ability to open links in a new window can be used in both internal and external links …
(You can open external and internal links in new windows – even external links pointing to content about internal links!)
Your internal link is now created …
(Internal content link)
WordPress Automatically Detects Broken Links
From WP 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 update 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
If you want, you can also format your internal links (e.g. make the link bold, italicized, add color, etc …) using the format buttons in your WordPress visual content editor menu (< there’s that internal link again! :)) …
(Format links if you want users to notice them)
How To Delete Links
No tutorial on adding content links would feel complete without showing you how to delete links that you no longer want, so let’s take care of this topic right now.
To remove a hyperlink from your pages or posts, just click anywhere on the link and then click either the little cross icon on the link editor floating box or the ‘Remove link’ feature on the content editor menu as shown below
(Removing links is easy … just click a button!)
Your link will be removed …
Plugins For Linking Content Automatically
So far, we have looked at how to create links to content in WordPress manually using the built-in WordPress inline linking feature.
Are there any WordPress plugins that can perform this job?
Yes … Of course! As we explain in this article, there are WordPress plugins for everything. And if you cannot find a plugin that does what you are looking for, one can be created for you.
Also, depending on the type of plugins and themes installed on your website, you can get additional SEO benefits from internal linking features such as:
- Breadcrumb website navigation
- Links to related posts
- Internal linking through footer and sidebar widgets
In another article, we’ll discuss additional SEO linking strategies in WordPress, examine the pros and cons of automating links in WordPress, and look at a few plugins you can look at for creating internal links automatically in your content:
(Internal linking for SEO. Source: No Sweat WP Internal Links Lite - WP plugin)
Congratulations! Now you know how to easily create internal links in your WordPress pages and posts.
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