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.

Creating Internal Linking Using The WordPress Advanced Link EditorAccording 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 blog comes with built-in internal linking features, such as custom menus, permalinks, image links, archives, categories, and tags pages, site search pages, link widgets, sidebar widgets (e.g. Latest Posts), comments RSS feeds, an internal linking tool, continue reading tags, etc. Additional link features can also be added to WordPress via plugins. In short, WordPress is perfect for adding extensive content linking.

Linking to other posts helps your readers discover more of your content and improves your site’s SEO. In this tutorial, you will learn how to add internal links to WordPress using the advanced content link feature.

The WordPress Internal Content Linking Tool

(WordPress Internal Linking Tool)

Benefits Of Using Content Linking

Internal content links are simply hyperlinks in your content to other sections of your WordPress site.

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 great examples of internal content linking

(Wikipedia uses extensive internal linking extensively)

Inserting links pointing to other posts and pages provides a number of benefits, not only for website owners, but also for visitors and search engines. Internal content links allow users to access more content and helps search engine spiders index web pages faster. Websites like Wikipedia use internal content linking strategies extensively for visitors.

Benefits Of Internal Links #1 – Improve Website Navigation And Create A Better User Experience

Use internal content links to improve your site usability and create a better user experience.

(Use internal linking to improve your website usability and create a better user experience.)

The main purpose of a website is to provide visitors with the relevant information that they are searching for. Offering users easy access to other sections of your site that contain more of the content they want to see not only makes your site easier to use and navigate, it also creates a better experience for your visitors.

Improving the quality of the user experience means that visitors stay longer on your site and visit more of your web pages. In a well-planned website, this creates improved sales results.

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 main products or services page.

Benefit Of Using Internal Links #2 – Improve Your Website’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Use internal linking to improve search results.

(Use internal content linking to improve your SEO.)

Adding links in your content also improves your search engine optimization (SEO). Linking to other pages or posts on your site helps search engine indexing robots crawl web pages faster and more easily than sites that contain only standalone posts and pages. This can drive more organic search traffic to your website.

One of the most effective ways of improving your site’s search engine optimization is by combining internal linking with keyword relevancy. This is easily achieved by adding link text to link URLs (these are called anchor text links).

For example, if you provide travel services or advice, you could hyperlink the keyword phrase “romantic cruises” from a post where you describe different types of vacations to another blog post on your site listing romantic getaway destinations. This helps search engines get a better understanding of what the content on your web pages are all about.

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

Use anchor text links on titles, body text, image captions, etc.

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

Benefit Of Using Content Links #3 – Increase Visibility And Exposure For Your Content

Use internal content links to increase visibility and exposure for your content.

(Use internal content linking to increase visibility & exposure for your content.)

In WordPress, as you continue adding content, older posts get pushed further down the chronological table. This can cause posts to become less popular.

If there is older but important content on your site that is not getting as much exposure as you would like, place 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 you have being seen by visitors and being indexed by search engines, the more visibility and exposure your business gets online … which can lead to better results!

How To Create Internal Linking Using The WordPress Linking Tool

An advanced linking function was introduced in WordPress version 3.1 that allows you to easily link content in pages to other posts and pages on your site. This feature was improved in WP 4.5 to include an inline linking editor.

Prior to the introduction of this advanced feature, if you wanted control over your internal linking strategy, you would have to manually search your site for the page or post to link to, then copy its URL and manually link to it in your content. Now, linking to posts and pages in WordPress is very simple.

Here’s how to do it …

First, log into your WordPress dashboard, and locate and open the post or page you would like to create links in.

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

When you have selected and highlighted the text, click on the insert/edit link icon in the WordPress visual editor menu (< this is an internal link!) …

WordPress visual editor menu - link tool

(WordPress visual content editor menu – content link feature)

Important

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

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

(The feature can also be accessed in the ‘Text’ tab of the content editor)

The Inline Linking editor appears below your selection …

Inline Linking

(Inline Linking Tool)

Paste in your link URL or type a word or keyword phrase related to the page or post you want to hyperlink into the box to find related content …

Enter a search term to bring up related posts and pages

(Type in a search term to view related content)

Click the ‘Apply’ button to insert the link …

WordPress Inline Linking - Apply button

(WordPress Inline Linking tool – Apply button)

Your link has now been added …

Link added to content

(Link inserted into content)

You can access the advanced linking editor by clicking on the ‘Link Options’ button …

Inline Linking editor - 'Link Options'

(WordPress Inline Linking – ’Link Options’)

This brings up the Insert/edit link window …

Internal linking options

(Internal linking options)

The Insert/edit link tool is divided into two sections:

Enter the destination URL

Paste in your target destination URL, enter the Link Text to display with the link and tick the ‘Open link in a new window/tab’ check box to open your link in a new window/tab …

Insert/edit link editor

(Insert/edit link editor)

Or link to existing content

This is the function that lets you add internal links to your content. Enter a word or keyword phrase related to the text you want to hyperlink in the Search box. WordPress automatically begins looking for posts and pages containing those words …

Type in the search term to view related posts and pages

(Type in the search term to find related posts and pages)

Click 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 field …

Click on the page or post to link to in your content

(Click on the post or page to link your content to)

Notice that the feature brings up both pages and posts …

Link to posts or pages

(Link to pages or posts)

But you are not just limited to default posts or pages. If you use custom post types on your site, you can also link to these …

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

(Link to custom WordPress post types in addition to standard pages or posts)

If you want 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 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 linked content in a new window 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 ... whooa!

(You can open external and internal links in new windows – even external links to content about internal links!)

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

An internal link

(An internal link … sublime and beautiful!)

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 the link before publishing it to your site. …

WordPress automatically detects broken links

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

Useful Information

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. make the link bold, italicized, change the link color, etc …) using the format buttons in your WordPress visual editor menu (< there’s that internal link again! :)) …

You can format your hyperlinks if you want to catch your visitors' attention

(You can format your links if you want to catch your visitors’ attention)

Removing Links To Content

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

To remove a hyperlink from your pages or posts, just click anywhere on the link and then click either the little cross icon on the link editor floating bar or the ‘Remove link’ button on the WordPress content editor menu as shown below

Deleting hyperlinks is easy ... WordPress even gives you different choices!

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

Your link will be removed …

Non-clickable text ... all links removed!

(Links be gone!)

WordPress Plugins For Linking Content Internally

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

Are there any WordPress plugins that can automate this task?

Yes … Of course! As we explain here, there are WordPress 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 type of plugins and themes installed on your website, you can get additional SEO benefits from internal linking features such as:

  • Breadcrumb links
  • Related posts
  • Linking through widgets

In a separate article, we’ll discuss additional SEO linking strategies in WordPress, examine the pros and cons of automating content links in WordPress, and look at a few WordPress plugins you can look at for creating links automatically in your content:

SEO internal linking

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

Congratulations … now you know how easy it is to add links to content in WordPress.

***

"I have used the tutorials to teach all of my clients and it has probably never been so easy for everyone to learn WordPress ... Now I don't need to buy all these very expensive video courses that often don't deliver what they promise." - Stefan Wendt, Internet Marketing Success Group

***

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

WordPress Traffic & User EngagementWordPress Traffic & User Engagement

Learn how to drive more targeted traffic to your website and discover ways to improve user engagement with your business online.

More info: WordPress Traffic & User Engagement

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

Why Your Business Needs WordPressWhy Your Business Needs WordPress

Learn about the unique features, benefits, and advantages of using WordPress to start or grow your business online.

More info: Why Your Business Needs WordPress

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

WordPress 101: How To Use WordPressWordPress 101: How To Use WordPress

Learn how to unlock the power of the WordPress content management system (CMS) using the many powerful features inside your WordPress administration area.

More info: WordPress 101: How To Use WordPress

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

WordPress SEOWordPress SEO

In this WordPress SEO training series you will learn how to optimize your WordPress site and how to craft website pages and blog posts that will help you get better search engine rankings and improve your traffic results.

More info: WordPress SEO

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

Build A WordPress Site ... Fast!Build A WordPress Site ... Fast!

Need a new website or blog in a hurry?

This video course shows you how to quickly install and configure a WordPress website or blog on your own domain name and be up and running in no time!

More info: Build A WordPress Site ... Fast!

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

How To Create Engaging PresentationsHow To Create Engaging Presentations

Learn how to create beautiful and engaging presentations that will help you sell more products and services online.

More info: How To Create Engaging Presentations

Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the owner of WPCompendium.org and the author of The WordPress User Manual. WPCompendium.org provides hundreds of FREE tutorials that show you how to use WordPress to grow your business online with no coding skills required! Get our FREE "101+ WordPress Tips, Tricks & Hacks For Non-Techies" e-course with loads of useful WordPress tips!

Originally published as How To Use The WordPress Internal Linking Tool.