Linking to other posts and pages in your own website or domain is called internal linking.
A website built with WordPress provides great built-in content linking features, such as custom menus, permalinks, text links, categories, archives, and tags pages, site search pages, link widgets, sidebar widgets (e.g. Recent Posts), comments RSS feeds, an internal link tool, continue reading tags, etc. Additional linking functionality can also be added to WordPress using plugins. In short, WordPress is an ideal platform for linking content both internally and externally.
Linking to other content in your own website or domain has many SEO benefits. In this tutorial, you will learn how to add internal links to WordPress using the internal content linking tool.
(WordPress Hyperlink Tool)
Internal Content Linking Benefits
Internal content links are simply links added to your content pointing to other sections of your WordPress site.
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 content linking)
Adding internal links to posts and pages provides many benefits, not only for website owners, but also for visitors and search engines. Internal links let visitors access more content and ensures that search engine bots can better index web pages. Websites like Wikipedia use internal content linking extensively for visitors.
Benefit Of Using Internal Content Linking #1 – Improved Site Navigation And User Experience
(Use internal linking to improve your website navigation and create a better user experience.)
Websites are supposed to provide users with relevant information. By providing users with easy access to other areas of your website containing more of the content they want to see, you not only improve the quality of your website, but also your website’s user experience.
Creating a better experience for users means that visitors stay longer on your site and visit more pages. In a well-thought-out sales funnel, this will lead to better sales conversions.
It’s important to make sure that the content you are actually linking together is relevant for users. For example, you may want to add links on your home page to your contact page.
Benefit Of Using Content Linking #2 – Site’s SEO
(Use internal links to improve your SEO.)
Adding internal links improves your search results. By creating internal links to content on other pages or posts on your site, you are helping search engine indexing robots crawl sites more easily, faster and more thoroughly than sites that only comprise of standalone pages and posts. This can result in more traffic to your site.
An effective way of improving search engine optimization is by combining internal links with keyword relevancy. This can be easily achieved by adding link titles to link URLs (called anchor text links).
For example, if your blog provides wedding services, you could create an article on unusual wedding gifts and link the keywords “sustainable wedding gift ideas” to another section of your website listing wedding gift registries. This will help search engines get a better understanding of what your site is about.
Using anchor text links is a lot more effective for both search engines and visitors. You can use anchor text links on titles, body text, image captions, and so on.
(Add anchor text links to content titles, body text, image captions, etc.)
Benefit Of Using Internal Content Linking #3 – Increased Content Visibility And Exposure
(Use internal content linking to increase content visibility & exposure.)
In WordPress, as you continue adding content, your entries will get older and get pushed further down the chronological table. This can lead to posts becoming less popular.
If there is old but important content on your site that you would like more visitors to access, insert 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 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 online … and this can lead to better results!
Using The Internal Hyperlinking Editor In WordPress
In WordPress 3.1, an internal linking feature was introduced that lets you quickly and easily link content inside 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 to control 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, performing linking operations inside pages and posts is really simple.
Here’s how to do it …
Log into your WordPress site, and find and open the post or page you would like to add links to.
Next, find and highlight the phrase or sentence you want to add a hyperlink to.
After you have selected and highlighted the text, click on the insert/edit link tool in the WordPress visual content editor menu (< this is an internal link!) …
(WordPress visual editor menu – content linking tool)
If you find yourself In the ‘Text’ tab of the WordPress editor, select the ‘link’ button to access the link tool …
(The link feature can also be accessed in the ‘Text’ tab of the WordPress content)
The Inline Linking tool appears below the selection …
(WordPress Inline Linking)
Paste in your target destination URL or enter a word or keyword phrase related to the page or post you want to hyperlink in the box to view related posts and pages …
(Type in a search term to view related posts and pages)
Click the ’Return’ (Apply) icon to create the link …
(WordPress Inline Linking tool – Apply button)
Your link will be added …
(Hyperlink added to content)
You can also use the advanced linking feature by clicking on the gear (‘Link Options’) button …
(WordPress Inline Linking – ‘Link Options’ button)
This brings up the Insert/edit link window …
(Advanced content link tool)
By default, you will see two sections:
Enter the destination URL
Paste in the URL of your target destination, enter the Link Text associated 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 linking feature allows you to insert internal links into your content. Enter a word or keyword phrase related to the post you want to hyperlink in the Search box. WordPress will automatically display related posts and pages containing those words …
(Type in the search term to find related posts and pages)
Select the title of the post or page you would like to link to, and the item’s URL automatically gets added to the fields in the destination URL field …
(Click on the page or post you would like to link your content to)
Notice that the tool brings up both posts and pages …
(Link to pages or posts)
You are not just limited to pages or posts. You can also link to custom WordPress post types (these are post types that you create to display information in a specific way), like products, portfolios, etc. …
(Link to custom WordPress post types in addition to standard posts or pages)
If you want to open your linked content in a new window, then select 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 or tab can be used for both internal and external links …
(You can open internal and external links in a new window – even external links to content about internal links!)
Your internal link is now created …
(An internal link)
WordPress Automatically Detects Broken Links
From WordPress 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 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
You can format your internal links (e.g. make the link bold, italicized, change the link color, etc …) using the format buttons in your WordPress WYSIWYG editor menu (< there’s that internal link again! :)) …
(Format your hyperlinks if you want to catch your visitors’ attention)
No tutorial on adding links to WordPress content is complete without showing you how to delete links that you no longer want, so let’s take care of this topic right now.
To delete a link from your content, just click anywhere on the link and then click either the little cross icon on the link editor floating box or the ‘Remove link’ icon on the editor menu as shown below
(Deleting both internal and external hyperlinks is easy … WordPress even gives you different choices!)
Your link will be removed …
Internal Linking Plugins
So far, we have looked at how to create internal links to content manually using the WordPress linking tool.
Are there plugins for WordPress that can do this work?
Yes, there are! As we explain in this article, there are plugins that can do almost everything you can imagine. And if you can’t find a plugin that does what you want, one can be created for you.
Also, depending on the kind of plugins and themes installed on your website or blog, you can benefit from additional internal linking features such as:
- Related posts
- Linking through footer and sidebar widgets
In another article, we’ll discuss additional types of linking content in WordPress, examine the benefits and challenges of automating links in WordPress, and look at various plugins you can check out for creating internal content links automatically.
(Internal linking for SEO. Image sourced from: No Sweat WP Internal Links Lite plugin for WordPress)
Congratulations … now you know how to easily link content in your WordPress pages and posts.
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