How To Use The WordPress Internal Linking Tool

Learn about the SEO benefits of internal linking and how to create internal links in posts and pages using the WordPress linking tool …

How To Use The WordPress Linking ToolAccording to SEO consulting company Moz, “internal links are hyperlinks that point at (target) the same domain as the domain that the link exists on (source). In layman’s terms, an internal link is one that points to another page on the same website.”

The WordPress CMS platform comes with built-in internal linking functions, such as menus, permalinks, image links, archives, categories, and tags pages, search results pages, link widgets, sidebar widgets (e.g. Latest Posts), entries RSS, an internal link tool, post excerpt links, etc. Additional link features can also be added to WordPress via plugins. In short, WordPress is an ideal platform for linking content both internally and externally.

In this tutorial, we discuss some of the benefits of internal linking, and how to easily add links in your content using the WordPress advanced linking tool.

WordPress Hyperlinking Tool

(WordPress Hyperlink Tool)

Internal Linking – Benefits

Internal links are simply hyperlinks in your content pointing to other sections of your WordPress site.

Or, as Wikipedia explains it …

“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

(Wikipedia’s pages are full of internal content links)

Inserting links pointing to other pages and posts provides a number of benefits, not only for the website owner, but also for visitors and search engines. Internal content links enable users to view more content and ensures that search spiders can index web pages faster. Websites like Wikipedia rely extensively on internal content linking for visitors.

Benefits Of Using Internal Content Links #1 – Improved Site Navigation And User Experience

Use internal content linking to improve website navigation and create a better user experience.

(Use content linking to improve website navigation and user experience.)

Websites are supposed to provide users with relevant content. Offering users easy access to other areas of your site containing more of the content they are looking for not only improves the quality of your website, it also creates a better experience for your site’s users.

Improving the quality of the user experience means that visitors stay longer on your site and visit more pages. If you plan your marketing strategy well, this will lead to improved sales results.

It’s important to make sure that the information you are actually linking together is relevant for your users. For example, you may want to add links on your company page to your about page.

Benefit Of Internal Content Linking #2 – Improved Search Rankings

Use internal links to site's search results.

(Use internal content links to improve search results.)

Internal content linking improves your SEO. Linking to content on other posts and pages on your website helps search indexing spiders crawl your site faster and more easily than if your site contains only standalone posts and pages. This can result in more traffic to your website or blog.

One of the most effective ways to improve your search engine optimization is by combining internal linking with keyword relevancy. This is easily achieved by adding keywords as titles to link URLs (called anchor text links).

For example, if you provide wedding-related information or advice, you could hyperlink the keyword phrase “green wedding gift ideas” from a post that offers various tips and ideas about finding unusual wedding gifts to another section of your website listing wedding gift registries.

Using anchor text links is more effective for both visitors and search engines. You can use keyword-relevant text links on content titles, body text, image captions, and so on.

Use keyword-relevant text links on content titles, body text, image captions, etc.

(Use keyword-relevant text links on titles, body text, image captions, etc.)

Benefit Of Using Internal Linking #3 – Increased Content Visibility & Exposure

Use internal content linking to increase visibility and exposure for your content.

(Use content links to increase content visibility & exposure.)

In WordPress, as you continue adding content to your site, older posts get pushed down the chronology. This can lead to posts becoming less popular.

If you have older but useful content on your site that you would like more visitors to read, consider creating internal links within the content of your more popular posts pointing to your less popular posts to increase their exposure, and/or add links to older posts to help them get found again by 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 receives online … and this can lead to better results!

How To Use The WordPress Internal Link Tool

A linking tool was introduced in WP version 3.1 that lets you link content inside your pages to other posts and pages on your site. This feature was improved in WP version 4.5 to include an inline linking editor.

Prior to this feature, if you wanted control over your internal linking strategy, you would have to manually look for the page you wanted to link to, then copy its URL and manually link to it in your content. Now, creating internal linking in WordPress is quite simple.

Here’s how to do it …

First, log into your WordPress site, find and open the post or page you want to add internal links into.

Next, find and highlight the keywords you want to add a link to.

After selecting and highlighting the text, click on the hyperlinking tool in the WordPress visual content editor menu (< this is an internal link!) …

WordPress WYSIWYG editor menu - link tool

(WordPress visual editor menu – content link tool)

Idea

If you find yourself In the ‘Text’ tab of the WordPress content, select the ‘link’ button to access the link tool …

The tool can also be accessed in the 'Text' tab of the content editor

(The link feature can also be accessed in the ‘Text’ tab of the content editor)

The Inline Linking editor appears below the selection …

Inline Linking Tool

(WordPress Inline Linking)

Paste in the URL of your target link or start typing a word or keyword phrase related to the post you want to hyperlink into the field to find related content …

Enter a search term to find related content

(Enter a search term to view related content)

Click the ’Return’ button to add your link …

Inline Linking - Apply button

(Inline Linking – Apply button)

Your link will be inserted into your content …

Link added to content

(Hyperlink inserted into content)

You can access the advanced linking editor by clicking on the gear icon …

Inline Linking editor - 'Link Options' button

(WordPress Inline Linking – ‘Link Options’ button)

This brings up the Insert/edit link window …

Advanced linking feature

(Advanced content link options)

The Insert/edit link window is divided into two sections:

Enter the destination URL

Paste in your target destination URL, type in the Link Text to display with the link and tick the ‘Open link in a new window/tab’ check box to open your link in a new window/tab …

WordPress Insert/edit link editor

(WordPress Insert/edit link tool)

Or link to existing content

This linking feature lets you create internal links. Type a word or keyword phrase related to the page or post you want to hyperlink in the Search field. WordPress will automatically begin searching for posts and pages containing those words …

Enter the search term to see related posts and pages

(Enter the search term to find related posts and pages)

Click the post or page you would like to link to, and the item’s URL automatically gets inserted into the fields in the destination URL section …

Select the page or post you would like to link to in your content

(Click on the page or post to link your content to)

Notice that the feature lets you link to pages or posts and shows you which item is what …

Link to pages or posts

(Link to posts or pages)

You are not just limited to posts or pages. You can also link to custom post types like products, categories, etc. …

Add internal links to custom WordPress post types in addition to default pages or posts

(Link content to custom WordPress post types in addition to posts or pages)

If you would like to open your linked content in a new browser window, tick the Open link in a new window/tab box and click the Add Link button

Check the box to open your link in a new window

(Tick the box and your link will open 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 …

You can open external and internal links in new windows - even external links to content about internal links ... whooa!

(Open internal and external links in new windows – even external links to content about internal links!)

Your internal link is now created …

Internal content link

(An internal link)

WordPress Automatically Detects Broken Links

From WP v. 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 correct the link before publishing it to your site. …

WordPress automatically detects broken links

(WordPress automatically detects broken links. Source: WordPress 4.6 Features)

Important Info

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:

Link Boundaries

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.

These include:

  • 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

(New WordPress Feature – Link Boundaries)

To see this feature in action, watch the short video demo below:

(Link Boundaries)

Internal Link Options

If you want, you can also 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 editor menu (< there’s that internal link again! :)) …

You can format your hyperlinks to make them more visible

(You can format links if you want to make them more visible)

Deleting Links To Content

No tutorial on adding content links is complete without showing you how to delete any links that you no longer want, so let’s take care of this topic right now.

To remove a link 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 editor menu as shown below

Removing both internal and external links is easy ... just click the button!

(Deleting links in WordPress is easy … just click a button!)

Your link will be removed …

Plain text ... all links removed!

(Links removed!)

Internal Linking Plugins for WordPress

So far, we have looked at how to create internal links to content manually using the WordPress link tool.

Are there any plugins for WordPress that can perform this work?

Yes … Of course! As we explain in this article, there are plugins that can do almost everything imaginable. And if you cannot find a plugin that does what you want, one can be created for you.

Also, depending on the type of plugins and themes used on your website, you can get additional SEO benefits from internal linking features such as:

  • Breadcrumbs
  • Links to related posts
  • Internal linking using widgets

In a separate article, we’ll discuss additional methods of linking content in WordPress, look at the benefits and challenges of automating links in WordPress, and look at various WordPress plugins that can help you create links automatically on your site:

SEO internal linking structures

(Internal linking for SEO. Screenshot source: No Sweat WP Internal Links Lite WordPress plugin)

Congratulations! Now you know how to easily link content internally in your WordPress pages and posts.

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