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 …

Using The WordPress Inline Link ToolAccording 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 provides built-in content linking features, such as custom menus, permalinks, image links, categories, tags, and archives pages, site search pages, link widgets, sidebar widgets (e.g. Latest Posts), comments RSS, a default linking tool, post excerpt links, etc. Additional link functionality can also be added to WordPress using a range of plugins. In short, WordPress is perfect for linking content both internally and externally.

Linking to other pages in your website or domain has many SEO benefits. This step-by-step tutorial explains how to add internal links to WordPress using the internal content link feature.

The WordPress Built-In Hyperlinking Function

(WordPress Internal Content Linking Feature)

Internal Content Linking – Benefits

Internal content linking simply means adding links in your content pointing to relevant pages and posts on your website.

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's pages provide loads of examples of internal linking

(Wikipedia’s pages contain many internal links)

Using links in pages and posts provides several benefits, not only for the website owner, but also for visitors and search engines. Internal content links allow visitors to view more content and helps search engine bots better index site. Sites like Wikipedia use internal links extensively for traffic.

Benefit Of Using Content Links #1 – Improve Your Site Navigation And Create A Better User Experience

Use internal links to improve site navigation and create a better user experience.

(Use internal content links to improve your website navigation and create a better user experience.)

One of the main purposes of a website is to provide visitors with the relevant information they are searching for. Offering users easier access to other sections of your website that contain more of the content they want to see not only improves the quality of your site, but also your user’s experience.

Creating a better experience for users means that visitors stay longer on your site and visit more pages. In a well-thought-out online process, this can easily lead to more sales or sales enquiries.

Make sure that the information you are linking together is relevant for your users. For example, it makes sense to link your company page to your about page.

Benefit Of Using Internal Content Links #2 – Improved Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Use content links to improve search results.

(Use internal content links to site’s search engine optimization (SEO).)

Adding internal content links improves your search engine rankings. Linking to other pages or posts on your website helps search engine robots crawl your web pages faster, more easily and more thoroughly than if your site was comprised only of standalone pages and posts. This can result in more web traffic to your site.

One of the more effective ways to improve search engine optimization is to combine internal linking with keyword relevancy. This is easily achieved by adding keywords as titles to hyperlinks (called anchor text links).

For example, if you provide travel services or advice, you could link the keywords “romantic cruises” from a post listing different types of vacations to another section of your website listing honeymoon destinations.

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

You can add anchor text links to titles, body text, image captions, etc.

(You can add anchor text links to content titles, body text, image captions, etc.)

Benefit Of Internal Linking #3 – Get More Visibility & Exposure For Your Content

Use internal content links to increase content visibility & exposure.

(Use internal content linking to get more visibility and exposure for your content.)

In WordPress, as you continue adding new content, your posts will become older and get pushed down the chronology. This can lead to your posts being visited less often.

If there is old but important content on your site that is not getting as much exposure as you would like, place internal links within the content of your more popular pages pointing to your less popular pages to increase their exposure, and/or add links to older posts to help them get found again by visitors and search engines.

Having more of your content being seen by visitors and accessed by search engines means more visibility and exposure for your business … which can lead to better results!

Creating Internal Linking In Your Posts And Pages Using The Inline Linking Editor

An internal linking feature was introduced in WP 3.1 that allows you to link content inside your posts and pages to other posts and pages. This feature was improved in WordPress 4.5 to include an inline link editor.

Prior to this feature, if you wanted to control your internal linking strategy, you would have to manually search your site 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, adding internal links to WordPress is quite simple.

Here’s how you do it …

First, log into your WordPress backend, locate and open the post or page you want to insert internal links into.

Next, highlight the text you would like to turn into a hyperlink.

After you have selected and highlighted the content, click on the chain icon in the WordPress visual content editor menu (< here’s an internal link!) …

WordPress visual editor menu - linking tool

(WordPress visual content editor – content linking feature)

Important

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

The linking feature can also be accessed in the 'Text' tab of the content

(The linking tool can also be accessed in the ‘Text’ tab of the WordPress editor)

The Inline Linking tool appears below the highlighted words …

WordPress Inline Linking

(WordPress Inline Linking)

Paste in your link URL or enter a search term to find related content …

Enter a search term to view related content

(Enter a search term to bring up related posts and pages)

Click the ‘Apply’ icon to create the link …

WordPress Inline Linking - Apply button

(Inline Linking – Apply button)

Your link is now inserted …

Link inserted into content

(Link inserted into content)

You can access the advanced linking feature by clicking on the gear (‘Link Options’) icon …

WordPress Inline Linking editor - 'Link Options' button

(WordPress Inline Linking tool – ’Link Options’)

This brings up the Insert/edit link window …

Internal link feature

(Advanced link editor)

You will see two sections:

Enter the destination URL

Paste in your link URL, add the Link Text associated with the link and select whether to open the link in a new window/tab …

Insert/edit link tool

(WordPress Insert/edit link editor)

Or link to existing content

This feature allows you to insert internal links into your content. Enter a word or keyword phrase related to the page you want to hyperlink in the Search box. WordPress automatically begins looking for content items containing those words …

Enter the search term to view related content

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

Click on the title of page or post you would like to link to, and the URL of the selected item automatically gets added to the fields in the destination URL field …

Click on the page or post to link your content to

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

Notice that the feature indicates which content items are pages and which are posts …

Link to posts or pages

(Link to posts or pages)

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

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

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

If you want the linked content to open in a new window, select the Open link in a new window/tab box and click the Add Link button

Tick the box to open your link in a new window

(Tick the box to open your link 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 a new window - even external links to content about internal links ... whooa!

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

Congratulations … you have created an internal link to your content …

An internal link

(Voilá … 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

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

Important

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 content editor menu (< there’s that internal link again! :)) …

You can format your links if you want to catch your readers' attention

(Format your hyperlinks if you want users to notice them)

Deleting Links

No tutorial on adding links to content would feel complete without showing you how to remove any links that you no longer want, so let’s cover this topic right now.

To remove a link from your content, just click anywhere on the link and then click either the ’remove’ icon on the link editor floating bar or the ‘Remove link’ feature on the editor menu as shown below

Deleting both internal and external links is easy ... WordPress even gives you choices!

(Deleting hyperlinks is easy … just click a button!)

Your link will be removed …

Hyperlinks deleted!

(Non-clickable content … all links removed!)

WordPress Plugins For Creating Internal Content Links Automatically

So far, we have looked at how to create links to content in WordPress manually using the WordPress linking function.

Are there any WordPress plugins that can perform this task?

Yes, there are! As we explain in this article, there are WordPress plugins that can do almost everything imaginable. And if you can’t find a plugin that does what you need, one can be created for you.

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

  • Breadcrumbs
  • Related posts
  • Internal linking using widgets

In a separate article, we’ll discuss additional ways to link content in WordPress, examine the pros and cons of automating content links in WordPress, and look at various WordPress plugins that can help you create internal linking automatically.

SEO internal linking

(SEO internal linking. Screenshot image sourced from: No Sweat WP Internal Links Lite WP plugin)

Congratulations! Now you know how to easily add links to content in WordPress.

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