Linking to other content in your own website or domain is called internal linking.
A website or blog built with WordPress comes with built-in content linking functions, such as menus, permalinks, image links, archives, tags, and categories pages, search results pages, link widgets, sidebar widgets (e.g. Recent Posts), comments RSS feeds, a default linking tool, read more tags, etc. Additional link functionality can also be added to WordPress using a range of plugins. In short, WordPress is perfect for creating extensive content linking.
This tutorial explains how to insert internal links into WordPress using the internal content link tool.
(The WordPress Built-In Hyperlink Feature)
Internal Content Linking Benefits
Internal content links are simply links added to your content pointing to other content on pages and posts 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 great examples of internal linking)
Adding links to other posts and pages has several benefits, not only for the website owner, but also for web visitors and search engines. Internal links let users access more content and helps search robots index site faster. Sites like Wikipedia rely extensively on the use of internal linking strategies for attracting new visitors.
Benefits Of Internal Content Linking #1 – Improve Site Usability And Create A Better User Experience
(Use internal linking to improve your website usability and create a better user experience.)
One of the main purposes of a website is to provide users with relevant information. By offering users easier access to other sections of your website that contain more of the content they are looking for, you not only improve the usability of your website, you also create a better experience for your users.
Creating a better user experience means that visitors stay longer on your site and visit more of your web pages. In a well-thought-out content marketing strategy, this will lead to better sales results.
It’s important to make sure that the content you are actually linking together is relevant for your users. For example, you may want to add links on your home page to your about us page.
Benefit Of Using Internal Links #2 – Site’s Search Rankings
(Use internal links to site’s search results.)
Adding links in your content also improves your SEO. Linking to content on other posts or pages on your site helps search engine bots crawl pages faster and more easily than sites that include only standalone pages and posts. This can result in more organic search traffic to your website.
One of the more effective ways to improve search engine optimization is to combine internal linking with relevant keywords. This is easily achieved by adding keyword terms to link URLs (these are called anchor text links).
For example, if your blog provides wedding-related information, you could hyperlink the phrase “sustainable wedding gift ideas” from an article where you list unusual wedding gifts to another article on your website listing wedding gift registries. This helps search engines get a better understanding of what the content on your website is all about.
Using keyword-relevant text links is an effective strategy for both visitors and search engines. You can use anchor text links on content titles, body text, image captions, and so on.
(Use keyword-relevant text links on titles, body text, image captions, etc.)
Benefits Of Internal Content Links #3 – Increase Visibility & Exposure For Your Content
(Use internal content links to increase visibility & exposure for your content.)
As you continue adding content to WordPress, your post entries will become older and get pushed further down the chronology. This can cause many of your posts to become less popular and hence attract less visitors.
If you have useful content on older posts or pages that you would like more visitors to access, place internal links within the content of some 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 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!
How To Create Internal Links Using The WordPress Advanced Linking Editor
A linking feature was introduced in WP version 3.1 that allows you to quickly and easily link content inside posts to other posts and pages on your site. This feature was upgraded in WP v. 4.5 to include an inline link editor.
Prior to this advanced feature, if you wanted control over your internal linking strategy, you would have to manually look for the page or post you wanted to link to, then copy its URL and manually link to it in your content. Now, performing internal linking in WordPress is very simple.
Here’s how you do it …
First, log into your WordPress admin, locate and open the post or page you want to create links in.
Next, find and highlight the word or phrase you would like to transform into a link.
After selecting and highlighting the content, click on the insert/edit link item in the WordPress visual content editor menu (< this is an internal link!) …
(WordPress visual editor – content linking feature)
If you find yourself In the ‘Text’ tab of the WordPress editor, click the ‘link’ button to access the feature …
(The feature can also be accessed in the ‘Text’ tab of the WordPress content editor)
The Inline Linking editor appears below your selection …
Paste in the URL of your target destination or type a word or keyword related to the post or page you want to hyperlink in the box to view related posts and pages …
(Type in a search term to view related pages and posts)
Click the ’Return’ (Apply) icon to insert your link …
(WordPress Inline Linking editor – Apply button)
Your link is now added to the content …
(Hyperlink added to content)
You can also access the advanced linking editor by clicking on the gear icon …
(WordPress Inline Linking tool – ’Link Options’)
This brings up the Insert/edit link window …
(Advanced content linking tool)
This window is divided into two sections:
Enter the destination URL
Paste in the URL of your target destination, type in the Link Text associated with the link and choose whether to open your link in a new window …
(WordPress Insert/edit link tool)
Or link to existing content
This is the feature that lets you insert internal links. Enter a word or keyword phrase related to the text you want to hyperlink into the Search box. WordPress will automatically retrieve content items containing those words …
(Type in the search term to begin finding related content)
Select the title of the post or page you want to link to, and the item’s URL will automatically be inserted into the destination URL section …
(Select the page or post you would like to link to in your content)
Notice that the feature brings up both posts and pages …
(Link to posts or pages)
But you are not just limited to regular pages or posts. You can also link to custom WordPress post types like products, videos, etc. …
(Link content in WordPress to custom post types in addition to standard pages or posts)
If you want the linked content to open in a new browser window, then tick the Open link in a new window/tab box and click the Add Link button to create your internal link …
(Check the box and your link will open in a new window)
Note that the ability to open linked content 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 pointing to content about internal links!)
Congratulations … you have created an internal link to your content …
(Internal content link)
WordPress Automatically Detects Broken Links
From 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 fix 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 your hyperlinks to make them more noticeable)
Deleting Content Links
No tutorial on adding content links is complete without showing you how to remove any links that you no longer want, so let’s cover this topic right now.
To delete 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’ button on the editor menu as shown below
(Removing both internal and external links in WordPress is easy … just click the button!)
Your hyperlink will be removed …
Internal Linking Plugins
So far, we have looked at how to create internal links to content manually using the WordPress link tool.
Are there plugins for WordPress that can automate this job?
Yes … Of course! As we explain in this article, there are WordPress plugins for everything you can imagine. And if you can’t find a plugin that does what you need, one can be created for you.
Also, depending on the kind of WordPress theme installed on your website or blog, you can get additional SEO benefits from internal linking features such as:
- Related posts
- Internal linking through sidebar and footer widgets
In another article, we’ll discuss additional content linking strategies in WordPress, look at the pros and cons of automating content links in WordPress, and look at various WordPress plugins that can help you create internal links automatically on your site.
(Internal linking for SEO. Image sourced from: No Sweat WP Internal Links Lite)
Congratulations! Now you know how easy it is to add links to content in your WordPress pages and posts.
"This is AMAZING! I had learnt about how to use WordPress previously, but this covers absolutely everything and more!! Incredible value! Thank you!" - Monique, Warrior Forum