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.

How To Create Internal Links Using The WordPress Inline Linking 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.”

WordPress comes with great built-in content linking functions, such as menus, permalinks, text links, categories, tags, and archives pages, site search pages, link widgets, sidebar widgets (e.g. Recent Posts), entries RSS feeds, an internal link tool, post excerpt links, etc. Additional link features can also be added to WordPress using a range of plugins. In short, WordPress is an ideal platform for creating extensive content linking.

In this tutorial, we discuss the benefits of using internal linking in your content, and how to easily link content in your pages and posts using the WordPress linking tool.

WordPress Internal Linking Tool

(The WordPress Internal Linking Feature)

Internal Linking – Benefits

Internal content linking simply means adding links in your content to relevant content on your website or blog.

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

(Wikipedia uses internal linking extensively)

Adding links to your web pages has several benefits, not only for you as a website owner but also for your visitors and search engines. Internal links let visitors view more content. This ensures that search robots can index your pages faster.

Benefits Of Internal Content Linking #1 – Improved Site Navigation And User Experience

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

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

Web pages are supposed to provide visitors with the relevant information that they are searching for. By offering users easy access to other parts of your site that contain more of the content they want to see, you not only improve the navigation of your site, you also create a better experience for your site’s users.

Creating a better experience for users means that visitors stay longer on your site and visit more pages. If you plan your marketing strategy well, this creates better sales conversions.

It’s important to make sure that what you are linking together is relevant for your users. For example, it makes sense to link your company page to your about us page.

Benefits Of Content Linking #2 – Site’s SEO

Use content linking to improve your website's SEO results.

(Use content linking to improve SEO.)

Adding links in your content improves your SEO results. Linking to content on other pages and posts on your website helps search engine indexing spiders crawl pages faster and more thoroughly than sites that contain only standalone pages. This can result in more web traffic to your website or blog.

One of the more effective ways to improve SEO is by combining internal links with relevant keywords. This can easily be achieved by adding link titles to link URLs (these are called anchor text links).

For example, if you provide wedding services or advice, you could hyperlink the phrase “sustainable wedding gift ideas” from a post on unusual gifts for weddings to another section of your website about wedding gift registries. This helps search engines gain a better understanding of what the content on your pages are all about.

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

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

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

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

Use internal content linking to increase content visibility & exposure.

(Use content links to increase content visibility & exposure.)

As you continue adding content to your site, older posts get pushed further down the chronology. This can cause many posts to become less popular and hence attract less visitors.

If there is useful content on older posts or pages that is not getting as much exposure as you would like, you can 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 online … which can lead to better results!

Using The Internal Link Tool In WordPress

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

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 or post you wanted to link to, then copy its URL and manually paste and add a link to it in your content. Now, creating internal content linking in WordPress is quite simple.

Here’s how to do it …

First, log into your WordPress dashboard, find and open the post or page you want to add links into.

Next, highlight the content you would like to add a link to.

After selecting and highlighting the content, click on the link icon in the WordPress visual content editor menu (< here’s an internal link!) …

WordPress visual content editor - link tool

(WordPress visual editor – content link feature)

Important

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

The link tool can also be accessed in the 'Text' tab of the WordPress editor

(The linking tool can also be accessed in the ‘Text’ tab of the WordPress content)

The Inline Linking tool appears below your highlighted phrase …

WordPress Inline Linking Tool

(WordPress Inline Linking)

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

Type in a search term to find related posts and pages

(Type in a search term to bring up related pages and posts)

Click the ’Return’ (Apply) icon to add the link …

WordPress Inline Linking editor - Apply button

(WordPress Inline Linking – Apply button)

Your link is now created …

Hyperlink added to content

(Link added to content)

You can access the advanced linking feature by clicking on the gear (‘Link Options’) button …

WordPress Inline Linking - 'Link Options'

(WordPress Inline Linking – ‘Link Options’ button)

This brings up the Insert/edit link window …

Advanced link options

(Internal content link options)

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

Enter the destination URL

Paste in your link URL, enter the Link Text associated with the link and tick the ‘Open link in a new window/tab’ checkbox to open your link in a new window/tab …

WordPress Insert/edit link tool

(WordPress Insert/edit link tool)

Or link to existing content

This is the advanced linking function that lets you insert internal links. Enter a word or keyword phrase related to the page you want to hyperlink in the Search field. WordPress automatically begins searching for pages and posts containing those words …

Enter the search term to display related pages and posts

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

Click on the title of 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 …

Select the page or post to link your content to

(Select the page or post you would like to link to in your content)

Notice that the tool lets you link to posts or pages and shows you which item is what …

Link to pages or posts

(Link to posts or pages)

But you are not just limited to regular posts or pages. You can also link to custom WordPress post types like products, slides, etc. …

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

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

If you want the link to open 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 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 links in a new window can be used for both internal and external links …

Open internal and external links in a new window - even external links to content about internal links ... woo hoo!

(Open internal and external links in new windows – even external links to content about internal links!)

Congratulations … you have created an internal link to content in other pages or posts …

Internal content link

(An internal link)

WordPress Automatically Detects Broken Links

From WordPress version 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

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 content editor menu (< there’s that internal link again! :)) …

Format your hyperlinks if you want to make them stand out

(Format links if you want to catch your readers’ attention)

Deleting Content Links

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

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

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

(Removing both internal and external links in WordPress is easy … just click a button!)

Your link will be removed …

Links removed!

(Hyperlinks removed!)

Plugins For Creating Internal Content Links Automatically

So far, we have looked at how to create internal links to content manually using the built-in function.

Are there plugins for WordPress that can perform this work?

Yes … Of course! As we explain here, there are WordPress plugins that can do almost everything imaginable. 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 WordPress theme installed on your website, you can get additional SEO benefits from internal linking features such as:

  • Breadcrumb links
  • Related posts
  • Linking using footer and sidebar widgets

In a separate article, we’ll discuss additional methods of linking content in WordPress, examine the pros and cons of automating links in WordPress, and look at several WordPress plugins that can help you create links automatically on your site:

Internal linking structures for SEO

(SEO internal linking structures. Image sourced from: No Sweat WP Internal Links Lite WP plugin)

Congratulations! Now you know how easy it is to link content in WordPress.

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Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the founder of WPCompendium.org and the author of The Small Business Digital Manager. 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.