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 …

Using The WordPress Link ToolAccording to Moz, the SEO consulting company, “internal links are hyperlinks that point at (target) the same domain as the domain that the link exists on (source). In layman’s terms, an internal link is one that points to another page on the same website.”

The WordPress CMS platform provides built-in content linking functions, such as custom menus, permalinks, text links, categories, tags, and archives pages, site search pages, link widgets, sidebar widgets (e.g. Latest Posts), comments RSS, a default linking tool, post excerpt links, etc. Additional link functionality can also be added to WordPress using plugins. In short, WordPress is an ideal platform for adding extensive content linking.

In this step-by-step tutorial you will learn how to insert internal links into WordPress using the advanced content linking tool.

WordPress Linking Tool

(WordPress Hyperlinking Tool)

Internal Content Hyperlinks – Benefits

Internal content links are simply links added to your content to other sections of your website or blog.

Or, 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 employs extensive content linking extensively

(Wikipedia employs extensive internal content linking extensively)

Inserting internal links into your content provides several benefits, not only for you as the website owner but also for your visitors and search engines. Internal content links enable visitors to view more content. This helps search engine robots index your web pages faster.

Benefit Of Internal Linking #1 – Improve Site Navigation And Create A Better User Experience

Use internal content links to improve site usability and user experience.

(Use content links to improve your website navigation and create a better user experience.)

Websites are supposed to provide users with relevant information. By providing users with easier access to other parts of your website that contain more of the content they are looking for, you not only improve the quality of your website, you also create a better experience for your users.

Improving the quality of the user experience means that visitors stay longer on your site and visit more pages. In a well-planned website, this can also 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 main products page.

Benefit Of Content Links #2 – Improve Your Search Rankings

Use content links to site's search engine optimization (SEO).

(Use content linking to site’s search rankings.)

Adding internal content links also improves your SEO results. Linking to content on other posts and pages on your site helps search engine spiders crawl your web pages faster and more easily than if your site includes only standalone pages. This can result in more organic search traffic to your website.

One of the most effective ways of improving your search engine optimization is by combining internal links with keyword relevancy. This is easily achieved by adding keywords as titles to hyperlinks (these are called anchor text links).

For example, if you provide travel information, you could hyperlink the keyword phrase “romantic cruises” from an article about different kinds of vacations to another blog post on your website about romantic getaway destinations. This will help search engines gain a better understanding of what the content on your website is all about.

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

Add anchor text links to content titles, body text, image captions, etc.

(Use keyword-relevant text links on titles, body text, image captions, etc.)

Benefit Of Using Internal Content Linking #3 – Get More Visibility & Exposure For Your Content

Use content linking to get more visibility & exposure for your content.

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

In WordPress, as you continue adding content to your site, your entries will get older and get pushed further down the chronology. This can cause many of your posts to lose popularity.

If you have older 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 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 … which can lead to better results!

Using The WordPress Hyperlinking Tool

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

Prior to this feature, if you wanted to control 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 really simple.

Here’s how you do it …

First, log into your WordPress admin area, locate and open the post or page you would like to insert links into.

Next, find and highlight the keywords, phrase, or content you would like to transform into a hyperlink.

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

WordPress visual editor menu - link tool

(WordPress visual content editor – content link tool)

Important

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

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

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

The Inline Linking editor appears below your selection …

WordPress Inline Linking Editor

(Inline Linking Tool)

Paste in your link URL or type in a search term to find related posts and pages …

Enter a search term to bring up related posts and pages

(Enter a search term to view related content)

Click the ’Return’ icon to create the link …

Inline Linking - Apply button

(WordPress Inline Linking – Apply button)

Your link is now added to your content …

Hyperlink inserted into content

(Hyperlink added to content)

You can access the advanced linking tool by clicking on the gear button …

WordPress Inline Linking - 'Link Options'

(Inline Linking tool – ’Link Options’)

This brings up the Insert/edit link window …

Internal linking feature

(Internal link feature)

This window is divided into two sections:

Enter the destination URL

Paste in your link URL, enter the anchor 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 …

Insert/edit link editor

(Insert/edit link tool)

Or link to existing content

This section lets you add internal links to your content. Enter a word or keyword phrase related to the post you want to hyperlink in the Search field. WordPress automatically begins searching for pages and posts containing those words …

Type in the search term to begin finding related pages and posts

(Enter the search term to view related posts and pages)

Select the page or post you want to link to, and the item’s URL will automatically be inserted into the destination URL section …

Click on the page or post you would like to link your content to

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

Notice that the feature indicates which items are pages and which are posts …

Link to posts or pages

(Link to posts or pages)

You are not limited to posts or pages. If you use custom post types on your website or blog (e.g. products, testimonials, etc.), you can also create internal links to these …

Add internal links to custom WordPress post types in addition to regular posts or pages

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

If you want to open your link in a new browser 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

(Check the box and your link will open in a new window)

Note that the ability to open links in a new window can be used for both internal and external links …

Open external and internal links in new windows - even external links to content about internal links ... whooa!

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

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

Internal content link

(Voilá … an internal 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 correct your link before publishing it to your site. …

WordPress automatically detects broken links

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

Info

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

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 WYSIWYG 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 hyperlinks to make them stand out)

Removing Links

No tutorial on adding content links would feel complete without showing you how to delete any links that you no longer want, so let’s cover this right now.

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

Deleting links in WordPress is easy ... you even get choices!

(Removing links in WordPress is easy … you even get choices!)

Your link will be removed …

Plain text ... all links removed!

(Non-clickable content … all links removed!)

Plugins For Internal Content Linking

So far, we have looked at how to create links to content in WordPress manually using the WordPress inline link feature.

Are there plugins for WordPress that can automate this work?

Yes, there are! As we explain in this article, there are plugins for just about everything. 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 plugins and themes used on your website or blog, you can get additional SEO benefits from internal linking features such as:

  • Using Breadcrumbs
  • Related posts
  • Linking using footer and sidebar widgets

In a separate article, we’ll discuss additional methods of linking content in WordPress, look at the benefits and challenges of automating links in WordPress, and look at several WordPress plugins that can help you create internal linking automatically.

Internal linking structures for SEO

(SEO internal linking. Screenshot source: No Sweat WP Internal Links Lite)

Congratulations! Now you know how to easily link content internally 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

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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.