Linking to other pages on your website or domain is called internal linking.
The WordPress platform comes with great built-in internal linking features, such as menus, permalinks, image links, categories, tags, and archives pages, search results pages, link widgets, sidebar widgets (e.g. Recent Posts), entries RSS, a default linking tool, post excerpt links, etc. Additional link features can also be added to WordPress using a range of plugins. In short, WordPress is perfect for linking content both internally and externally.
This tutorial explains the benefits of internal linking and how to insert internal links into WordPress using the internal content link feature.
(WordPress Internal Content Linking Function)
Benefits Of Using Internal Content Links
Internal linking simply means adding links in your content pointing to relevant content on posts and pages on your website.
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 linking)
Adding content links to other pages has several benefits, not only for you as the website owner but also for your visitors and search engines. Internal content links let users view more content. This also helps search engine robots index your pages faster. Wikipedia is a great example of a site that relies extensively on internal content linking.
Benefit Of Using Internal Linking #1 – Improve Your Website Navigation And Create A Better User Experience
(Use internal content links to improve your site navigation and create a better user experience.)
Web pages are meant to provide visitors with the information that they are searching for. By providing users with easy access to other parts of your site that contain more of the content they want to see, you not only improve the navigation of your site, you also create a better experience for your site’s users.
Creating a better user experience means that visitors stay longer on your site and visit more of your web pages. If you plan things well, this can easily result in more sales.
Make sure that the information you are actually linking together is relevant for your users. For example, it makes sense to add links on your home page to your contact details page.
Benefits Of Using Internal Linking #2 – Improved SEO
(Use internal linking to improve SEO results.)
Adding links in your content improves your search engine rankings. Linking to content on other pages and posts on your website helps search engine indexing spiders crawl web pages faster, more easily and more thoroughly than sites that include only standalone posts and pages. This can drive more organic search traffic to your site.
One of the most effective ways of improving search engine optimization is to combine internal linking with relevant keywords. This can easily be achieved by adding link text to hyperlinks (these are called anchor text links).
For example, if you provide travel information or advice, you could create a post where you list romantic travel ideas and tips and link the keyword phrase “romantic cruises” to another blog post on your site about romantic getaway destinations. This will help search engines get a better understanding of what your site is about.
Using keyword-relevant text links is more effective for visitors and search engines. You can add anchor text links to content titles, body text, image captions, and so on.
(You can add anchor text links to content titles, body text, image captions, etc.)
Benefits Of Using Content Linking #3 – Get More Visibility And Exposure For Your Content
(Use internal linking to increase content visibility and exposure.)
In WordPress, as you continue adding content to your site, your entries will become older and get pushed down the chronology. This can cause many of your posts to become less visited.
If you have content on older posts that you would like more visitors to read, consider inserting internal links within the content of some of your more popular pages pointing to your less popular posts 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 visitors can see and search engines can access, the more visibility and exposure your business gets online … which can lead to better results!
Creating Internal Links Using The Inline Linking Editor
In WP 3.1, a linking function was introduced that allows you to link content in your posts and pages to other posts and pages. This feature was upgraded in WordPress version 4.5 to include an inline link tool.
Prior to the introduction of this advanced 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, linking to posts and pages in WordPress is really simple.
Here’s how to do it …
First, log into your WordPress admin, find and open the post or page you want to insert internal links into.
Next, find and highlight the content you would like to add a link to.
Once you have selected and highlighted the text, click on the link feature in the WordPress visual editor menu (< here’s an internal link!) …
(WordPress visual editor – content link feature)
If you find yourself In the ‘Text’ tab of the WordPress content, select the ‘link’ button to access the link feature …
(The tool can also be accessed in the ‘Text’ tab of the content editor)
The Inline Linking editor appears below the highlighted phrase …
(WordPress Inline Linking Editor)
Paste in your link URL or type in a search term to view related content …
(Type in a search term to bring up related content)
Click the ‘Apply’ icon to create the link …
(Inline Linking editor – Apply button)
Your link is now added to your content …
(Link inserted into content)
You can also use the advanced linking editor by clicking on the gear button …
(Inline Linking – ’Link Options’)
This brings up the Insert/edit link window …
(Advanced linking editor)
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 select whether to open your link in a new window/tab …
(WordPress Insert/edit link editor)
Or link to existing content
This section lets you insert internal links. Enter a word or keyword related to the post you want to hyperlink in the Search box. WordPress automatically begins looking for posts and pages containing those words …
(Type in the search term to find related pages and posts)
Click on the title of post or page you want to link to, and the item’s URL automatically gets inserted into the destination URL field …
(Click on the post or page you would like to link your content to)
Notice that the feature brings up both posts and pages …
(Link to posts or pages)
But you are not limited to standard pages or posts. If you use custom post types on your site, you can also create internal links to these …
(Link your content to custom WordPress post types in addition to posts or pages)
If you want 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 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!)
Congratulations … you have created an internal link to content in other posts or pages …
(An internal link)
WordPress Automatically Detects Broken Links
From version 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 the 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. you can italicize your link, make it bold, change the link color, etc …) using the format buttons in your WordPress visual editor menu (< there’s that internal link again! :)) …
(You can format links if you want to catch your visitors’ attention)
How To Delete Links
No tutorial on adding content links would be complete without showing you how to remove links that you no longer want, so let’s cover this 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’ button on the WordPress content editor menu as shown below
(Deleting both internal and external links is easy … WordPress even gives you different choices!)
Your hyperlink will be removed …
Internal Linking Plugins for WordPress
So far, we have looked at how to create links to content in WordPress manually using the inline linking tool.
Are there any WordPress plugins that can do this work?
Yes … Of course! As we explain in this article, there are plugins for everything you can imagine. And if you cannot find a plugin that does what you need, one can be created for you.
Also, depending on the type of plugins and themes installed on your website or blog, you can benefit from additional internal linking features such as:
- Breadcrumb navigation
- Links to related posts
- Linking through widgets
In another article, we’ll discuss additional content linking strategies in WordPress, examine the benefits and challenges of automating links in WordPress, and look at a few plugins you can look at for creating internal content linking automatically on your website.
(SEO internal linking. Image source: No Sweat WP Internal Links Lite - plugin for WordPress)
Congratulations … now you know how to easily add links to content in WordPress.
"I have used the tutorials to teach all of my clients and it has probably never been so easy for everyone to learn WordPress ... Now I don't need to buy all these very expensive video courses that often don't deliver what they promise." - Stefan Wendt, Internet Marketing Success Group