Internal links are hyperlinks that connect content in different pages on your own website or domain.
A website or blog built with WordPress provides built-in content linking functions, such as custom menus, permalinks, text links, categories, archives, and tags pages, search results pages, link widgets, sidebar widgets (e.g. Recent Posts), comments RSS, an internal link tool, post excerpt links, etc. Additional linking functionality can also be added to WordPress using plugins. In short, WordPress is perfect for adding extensive content linking.
In this tutorial you will learn how to add internal links to WordPress using the internal linking feature.
(The WordPress Built-In Hyperlink Tool)
Internal Linking – Benefits
Internal links are simply links added to your content pointing to relevant content 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 are full of internal links)
Inserting links into your content provides a number of benefits, not only for you as the website owner but also for your web visitors and search engines. Internal linking lets visitors view more content. This also helps search engines index your site faster. Sites like Wikipedia use internal content linking extensively for keeping readers on their pages.
Benefits Of Internal Content Linking #1 – Improved Website Usability And User Experience
(Use internal content links to improve website navigation and user experience.)
Web pages are supposed to provide visitors with relevant content. Providing users with easier access to other areas of your site containing more of the content they are looking for not only makes your website easier to use and navigate, it also creates a better experience for your users.
Improving the quality of the user experience means that visitors stay longer on your site and visit more of your web pages. If you plan your marketing strategy well, this can easily lead to more sales or sales enquiries.
Make sure that what you are actually linking together is relevant for users. For example, it makes sense to add links on your company page to your contact page.
Benefit Of Internal Content Links #2 – Site’s Search Results
(Use content links to improve your website’s search results.)
Adding links in your content improves your SEO results. By creating internal links to other pages or posts on your site, you are helping search engine robots crawl your pages more easily, faster and more thoroughly than if your site includes only standalone posts and pages. This can drive more traffic to your website.
One of the more effective ways to improve your site’s search engine optimization is by combining internal linking with relevant keywords. This can easily be achieved by adding link text to link URLs (called anchor text links).
For example, if you provide travel-related information, you could create an article listing romantic travel tips and ideas and hyperlink the phrase “romantic cruises” to another blog post on your website listing wedding destinations. This will help search engines gain a better understanding of what your site is about.
Using anchor text links is effective for both search engines and visitors. You can add keyword-relevant text links to content titles, body text, image captions, and so on.
(Use anchor text links on content titles, body text, image captions, etc.)
Benefits Of Using Internal Linking #3 – Increased Content Visibility & Exposure
(Use content links to increase visibility and exposure for your content.)
In WordPress, as you continue adding content, your entries will get older and get pushed down the chronology. This can lead to many posts losing popularity.
If you have important content on older posts or pages that you would like more visitors to read, insert internal links within the content of some 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 your site 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 … which can lead to better results!
Creating Internal Links Using The Inline Link Editor
An internal linking function was introduced in WordPress version 3.1 that lets you link content inside pages and posts to other posts and pages. This feature was improved in WordPress 4.5 to include an inline link tool.
Prior to this feature, if you wanted to control your internal linking strategy, you would have to manually look for the page 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 site, find and open the post or page you want to insert links into.
Next, find and highlight the keywords you would like to add a hyperlink to.
When you have selected and highlighted the words, click on the chain icon in the WordPress visual content editor menu (< this is 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 tool …
(The link tool can also be accessed in the ‘Text’ tab of the content editor)
The Inline Linking tool appears below the selection …
Paste in your link URL or begin typing a word or keyword phrase related to the post or page you want to hyperlink in the field to bring up related content …
(Type in a search term to bring up related posts and pages)
Click the ’Return’ button to create the link …
(Inline Linking tool – Apply button)
Your link is now added …
(Link added to content)
You can also use the advanced linking editor by clicking on the gear icon …
(Inline Linking – ‘Link Options’ button)
This brings up the Insert/edit link window …
(Advanced content link feature)
By default, you will see two sections:
Enter the destination URL
Paste in your target destination URL, type in the Link Text associated with the link and tick the ‘Open link in a new window/tab’ check box to open the link in a new window/tab …
(Insert/edit link editor)
Or link to existing content
This advanced linking function lets you insert internal links into your content. Enter a word or keyword phrase related to the title of the post or page you want to hyperlink into the Search box. WordPress will automatically retrieve pages and posts containing those words …
(Enter the search term to find related posts and pages)
Click on the post or page you would like to link to, and the URL of the selected item automatically gets inserted into the destination URL section …
(Click on the page or post you would like to link your content to)
Notice that the feature indicates which items are pages and which are posts …
(Link to pages or posts)
But you are not limited to posts or pages. If you use custom WordPress post types on your website (custom post types are post types created to display information in a specific way, like products, videos, etc.), you can also create internal links to these …
(Link your content to custom post types in addition to regular posts or pages)
If you would like the link to open in a new window, select 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 or tab can be used in both internal and external links …
(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 …
(An internal link)
WordPress Automatically Detects Broken Links
From WP 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 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, add color, etc …) using the format buttons in your WordPress visual content editor menu (< there’s that internal link again! :)) …
(You can format hyperlinks if you want to catch your readers’ attention)
Deleting Content Links
No tutorial on adding links to content would be complete without showing you how to remove links that you no longer want, so let’s cover this topic right now.
To delete a hyperlink from your pages or posts, just click anywhere on the link and then click either the ’remove’ icon on the link editor floating box or the ‘Remove link’ icon on the content editor menu as shown below
(Deleting hyperlinks is easy … just click a button!)
Your link will be removed …
(Links is gone!)
WordPress Plugins For Linking Content Internally
So far, we have looked at how to create internal links to content manually using the inline linking function.
Are there any plugins for WordPress that can automate this work?
Yes … Of course! As we explain in this article, there are WordPress plugins that can do almost 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 type of WordPress theme installed on your site, you can get additional SEO benefits from internal linking features such as:
- Breadcrumb website navigation
- Related posts
- Linking through sidebar and footer widgets
In another article, we’ll discuss additional content linking strategies in WordPress, examine the pros and cons of automating links in WordPress, and look at a few plugins that can help you create internal links automatically on your site.
(SEO internal linking. Screenshot source: No Sweat WP Internal Links Lite WordPress plugin)
Congratulations … now you know how to easily create internal links to content in WordPress.
"Wow! I never knew there's so much to learn about WordPress! I bought one of the WordPress for Dummies three years ago, such authors need to be on this course!" - Rich Law, Create A Blog Now