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 Links Using The Inline Link EditorAccording 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.”

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

This step-by-step tutorial explains how to create internal linking structures in WordPress using the advanced content linking feature.

WordPress Internal Content Linking Feature

(WordPress Hyperlinking Tool)

Internal Linking Benefits

Internal content linking simply means adding hyperlinks in your content to other content on pages and posts on 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's pages contain many internal links

(Wikipedia employs extensive internal content linking extensively)

Adding content links to pages and posts provides a number of benefits, not only for website owners, but also for web visitors and search engines. Internal linking enables users to access more content and helps search engines index site faster.

Benefit Of Content Links #1 – Improved Site Navigation And User Experience

Use internal content linking to improve website usability and create a better user experience.

(Use content links to improve website navigation and user experience.)

One of the main purposes of a website is to provide visitors with relevant content. By offering users easy access to other areas of your website that contain more of the content they want to see, you not only improve the usability of your website, but also your website’s user experience.

Creating a better user experience means that visitors stay longer on your site and visit more of your web pages. If you plan things well, this will lead to improved 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 Internal Content Linking #2 – Improve Your SEO

Use internal links to improve your website's search rankings.

(Use content linking to site’s search engine optimization (SEO).)

Adding links in your content also improves your search rankings. By creating internal links to content on other pages and posts on your website, you are helping search engine indexing bots crawl your site faster and more thoroughly than if your site includes only standalone pages. This can result in more traffic to your site.

One of the more effective ways to improve your search engine optimization is to combine internal links with relevant keywords. This can be easily achieved by adding link text to hyperlinks (called anchor text links).

For example, if you provide wedding-related services, you could link the keywords “eco wedding gift ideas” from an article where you describe unusual wedding gifts to another section of your website containing a directory of wedding gift registries. This will help search engines get a better understanding of what your website is all about.

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

You can add keyword-relevant text links to titles, body text, image captions, etc.

(Add keyword-relevant text links to content titles, body text, image captions, etc.)

Benefits Of Internal Content Links #3 – Increased Content Visibility And Exposure

Use internal content links to increase content visibility and exposure.

(Use internal linking to get more visibility and exposure for your content.)

In WordPress, as you continue adding new content, your post entries will get older and get pushed further down the chronology. This can lead to posts becoming less popular and being visited less.

If you have older but important content on your site that is not getting as much exposure as you would like, consider inserting internal links within the content 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.

The more content you have being seen by visitors and being indexed by search engines, the more visibility and exposure your business receives online … which can lead to better results!

How To Create Internal Linking Using The Inline Linking Feature

A linking tool was introduced in WP 3.1 that lets you quickly and easily link content on your posts and pages to other posts and pages on your site. This feature was updated in WP 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 search your site for the page to link to, then copy its URL and manually paste and add a link to it in your content. Now, performing internal linking in WordPress is very simple.

Here’s how you do it …

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

Next, highlight the content you want to add a link to.

After you have selected and highlighted the words, click on the hyperlink icon in the WordPress visual editor menu (< here’s an internal link!) …

WordPress WYSIWYG editor menu - link tool

(WordPress visual content editor menu – content linking tool)

Important

If you find yourself In the ‘Text’ tab of the WordPress content, select the ‘link’ button to access the link tool …

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

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

The Inline Linking editor will display below the selection …

Inline Linking

(Inline Linking Editor)

Paste in your link URL or type a word or keyword related to the post you want to hyperlink into the box to view related posts and pages …

Enter a search term to find related pages and posts

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

Click the ’Return’ (Apply) button to insert the link …

WordPress Inline Linking - Apply button

(WordPress Inline Linking – Apply button)

Your link will be added …

Link inserted into content

(Link added to content)

You can also use the advanced linking tool by clicking on the gear icon …

Inline Linking - 'Link Options'

(Inline Linking – ’Link Options’)

This brings up the Insert/edit link window …

Advanced link tool

(Advanced link editor)

The Insert/edit link 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 choose whether to open the link in a new window/tab …

Insert/edit link editor

(Insert/edit link editor)

Or link to existing content

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

Enter the search term to display related content

(Type in the search term to view related content)

Click on the title of post or page you want to link to, and the URL of your selected item automatically gets inserted into the destination URL field …

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

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

Notice that the feature brings up both posts and pages …

Link to posts or pages

(Link to pages or posts)

You are not just limited to standard posts or pages. You can also link to custom WordPress post types like products, videos, etc. …

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

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

If you want to open your link 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

(Tick the box and your link will open 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 …

You can open external and internal links in a new window - even external links to content about internal links ... whooa!

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

Your internal link is now created …

Internal content link

(Internal content link)

WordPress Automatically Detects Broken Links

From WordPress 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

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

Useful 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:

How To Detect And Repair Broken Links In WordPress

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

You can format links if you want to catch your readers' attention

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

Removing Content Links

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

To delete a link 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’ button on the WordPress editor menu as shown below

Deleting both internal and external hyperlinks is easy ... WordPress even gives you different choices!

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

Your link will be removed …

Plain content ... all links removed!

(Hyperlinks removed!)

Plugins For Linking Content Internally

So far, we have looked at how to create links to content in WordPress manually using the built-in WordPress inline linking tool.

Are there plugins for WordPress that can perform this task?

Yes, there are! As we explain here, there are WordPress plugins for everything you can imagine. And if you can’t find a plugin that does what you are looking for, one can be created for you.

Also, depending on the kind of WordPress theme used on your site, you can get additional SEO benefits from internal linking features such as:

  • Using Breadcrumbs
  • Links to related posts
  • Linking through 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 various plugins that can help you create internal linking automatically.

SEO internal linking

(Internal linking for SEO. Image source: No Sweat WP Internal Links Lite - plugin for WordPress)

Congratulations … now you know how easy it is to create internal links in your WordPress posts and pages.

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Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the founder of WPCompendium.org and has authored hundreds of FREE WordPress tutorials for beginners. WPCompendium.org provides detailed step-by-step tutorials that will teach you how to use WordPress with no coding skills required and at minimal cost!

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