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 site comes with built-in content linking functions, such as custom menus, permalinks, image links, categories, archives, and tags pages, search results pages, link widgets, sidebar widgets (e.g. Recent Posts), entries RSS, an internal link tool, post excerpt links, etc. Additional link functionality can also be added to WordPress using a range of plugins. In short, WordPress is an ideal platform 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 advanced linking feature.
(WordPress Internal Content Linking Feature)
Internal Links – Benefits
Internal content linking simply means adding links in your content pointing to other content on your WordPress site.
Or, as Wikipedia defines 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 great examples of internal content linking)
Adding internal links to other posts provides a number of benefits, not only for you as the website owner but also for your visitors and search engines. Internal content linking allows visitors to access more content. This ensures that search bots can better index your web site. Websites like Wikipedia rely extensively on the use of internal linking strategies for attracting new visitors.
Benefits Of Internal Links #1 – Improve Website Navigation And Create A Better User Experience
(Use internal content linking to improve website usability and user experience.)
Web pages are supposed to provide visitors with relevant content. Providing users with easy access to other areas of your website containing more of the content they are looking for not only makes your website easier to navigate, it also creates a better experience for your users.
Improving user experience means that visitors stay longer on your site and visit more of your web pages. In a well-planned website, this can also lead to improved sales results.
It’s important to make sure that the content you are linking together is relevant for users. For example, you may want to link your company page to your main services page.
Benefit Of Content Links #2 – Improved Search Results
(Use internal links to improve your website’s search rankings.)
Internal linking also improves your search engine rankings. Linking to other pages or posts on your site helps search engine indexing robots crawl your site faster and more thoroughly than if your site contains only standalone pages. This can drive more 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 keywords as titles to hyperlinks (called anchor text links).
For example, if your website provides wedding-related products or advice, you could link the key phrase “eco wedding gift ideas” from a post where you list 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 anchor text links on content titles, body text, image captions, and so on.
(You can use anchor text links on content titles, body text, image captions, etc.)
Benefits Of Using Internal Content Linking #3 – Increase Visibility And Exposure For Your Content
(Use content linking to get more visibility and exposure for your content.)
In WordPress, as you continue adding new content, older posts get pushed down the chronological table. This can lead to many posts becoming less popular.
If there is old but important content on your site that you would like more visitors to access, add 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 receives online … which can lead to better results!
Creating Internal Linking Using The Inline Link Editor
A linking feature was introduced in WP 3.1 that lets you easily link content inside posts and pages to other posts and pages. This feature was upgraded 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 or post to link to, then copy its URL and manually link to it in your content. Now, adding links to WordPress pages and posts is very simple.
Here’s how you do it …
Log into your WordPress backend, locate and open the post or page you would like to insert internal links into.
Next, highlight the keywords you would like to create as a link.
After you have selected and highlighted the words, click on the chain icon in the WordPress visual editor menu (< here’s an internal link!) …
(WordPress visual editor – content linking tool)
If you find yourself In the ‘Text’ tab of the editor, click the ‘link’ button to access the linking tool …
(The feature can also be accessed in the ‘Text’ tab of the WordPress content editor)
The Inline Linking editor will display below your selection …
(Inline Linking Tool)
Paste in your link URL or enter a search term to view related pages and posts …
(Type in a search term to bring up related pages and posts)
Click the ’Return’ (Apply) button to create the link …
(WordPress Inline Linking editor – Apply button)
Your link is now added …
(Link added to content)
You can also use the advanced linking feature by clicking on the ‘Link Options’ icon …
(WordPress Inline Linking – ‘Link Options’ button)
This brings up the Insert/edit link window …
(Internal content linking tool)
By default, you will see two sections:
Enter the destination URL
Paste in the URL of your target destination, add the Link Text to display with the link and select whether to open your link in a new window/tab …
(WordPress Insert/edit link tool)
Or link to existing content
This feature lets you create internal links. Begin typing a word or keyword phrase related to the text you want to hyperlink in the Search box. WordPress will automatically begin looking for posts and pages containing those words …
(Type in the search term to display related posts and pages)
Select 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 …
(Click on the page or post you would like 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)
You are not just limited to default pages or posts. You can also link to custom post types (these are post types that you create for a custom purpose), like products, image galleries, etc. …
(Create internal links to custom WordPress post types in addition to standard posts or pages)
If you would like the linked content to open in a new 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 linked content in a new window or tab can be used in both internal and external links …
(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 pages or posts …
(Internal content link)
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 correct 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 editor menu (< there’s that internal link again! :)) …
(Format links if you want to catch your visitors’ attention)
Removing Links To Content
No tutorial on adding content links would be 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 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 content editor menu as shown below
(Deleting both internal and external hyperlinks is easy … you even get choices!)
Your link will be removed …
(Hyperlinks be gone!)
Internal Linking Plugins
So far, we have looked at how to create links to content in WordPress manually using the inline link tool.
Are there WordPress plugins that can perform this work?
Yes, there are! As we explain here, there are plugins that can do almost everything imaginable. And if you cannot find a plugin that does what you need, one can be created for you.
Also, depending on the kind of WordPress theme used on your website, you can get additional SEO benefits from internal linking features such as:
- Using Breadcrumbs
- Links to related posts
- Internal linking through widgets
In another article, we’ll discuss additional methods of linking content in WordPress, examine the pros and cons of automating content links in WordPress, and look at several WordPress plugins that can help you create internal links automatically.
(SEO internal linking structures. Image sourced from: No Sweat WP Internal Links Lite WP plugin)
Congratulations … now you know how to easily add links to content in your WordPress pages and posts.
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