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 Linking Using The WordPress Link ToolAccording 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.”

The WordPress CMS platform provides great built-in internal linking features, such as menus, permalinks, image links, categories, tags, and archives pages, search results pages, link widgets, sidebar widgets (e.g. Latest Posts), comments RSS, an internal linking tool, continue reading tags, etc. Additional link functionality can also be added to WordPress using a range of plugins. In short, WordPress is perfect for linking content both internally and externally.

Linking to other content 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 linking tool.

WordPress Internal Content Linking Tool

(WordPress Hyperlinking Tool)

Internal Linking Benefits

Internal content links are simply hyperlinks in your content pointing to other content on posts and pages on your WordPress site.

Or, as defined in 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. 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 uses extensive content linking extensively

(Wikipedia’s pages provide great examples of internal content linking)

Adding content links to pages and posts provides several benefits, not only for the website owner, but also for visitors and search engines. Internal content linking lets visitors view more content and ensures that search bots can index site faster.

Benefit Of Using Internal Content Linking #1 – Improve Website Usability And Create A Better User Experience

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

(Use internal links to improve website usability and user experience.)

One of the main purposes of a website is to provide users with the content they are looking for. By providing users with easy access to other sections of your site containing more of the content they want to see, you not only improve the quality of your site, but also your website’s user experience.

Creating a better experience for users means that visitors stay longer on your site and visit more of your web pages. In a well-planned website, this can easily lead to more sales conversions.

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

Benefit Of Internal Links #2 – Improve Your Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Use content linking to improve your website's SEO.

(Use internal links to improve your website’s SEO.)

Internal links also improve your search rankings. Linking to content on other posts and pages on your site helps search engine indexing spiders crawl your web pages faster, more easily and more thoroughly than if your site contains only standalone posts and pages. This can result in more web traffic to your website.

One of the most effective ways to improve your search engine optimization is to combine internal links with keyword relevancy. This can easily be achieved by adding keywords as titles to link URLs (these are called anchor text links).

For example, if your website provides travel information, you could create an article listing romantic travel tips and ideas and link the keyword phrase “romantic cruises” to another blog post on your website describing various wedding destinations. This will help search engines get a better understanding of what the content on your website is all about.

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

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

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

Benefits Of Using Internal Linking #3 – Increased Content Visibility & Exposure

Use content links to increase content visibility & exposure.

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

Over time, as you continue adding content to WordPress, your blog posts will become older and get pushed further down the chronological table. This can lead to your posts being visited less often.

If there is old but important content on your site that is not getting as much exposure as you would like, consider creating 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 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!

Using The Advanced Hyperlinking Tool In WordPress

In WP 3.1, a link feature was introduced that allows you to easily link content inside posts and pages to other posts and pages. This feature was upgraded in WordPress v. 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 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, adding internal linking to pages and posts 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 add internal links to.

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

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

WordPress visual content editor menu - link tool

(WordPress visual content editor – content linking tool)

Important

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

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

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

The Inline Linking tool appears below the selection …

Inline Linking Tool

(WordPress Inline Linking)

Paste in your link URL or enter a search term to view related content …

Enter a search term to bring up related pages and posts

(Enter a search term to view related content)

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

WordPress Inline Linking - Apply button

(WordPress Inline Linking – Apply button)

Your link is now created …

Link inserted into content

(Hyperlink added to content)

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

Inline Linking tool - 'Link Options' button

(Inline Linking – ’Link Options’)

This brings up the Insert/edit link window …

Internal link editor

(Internal content link feature)

By default, you will see two sections:

Enter the destination URL

Paste in your target destination URL, add the anchor text associated with the link and tick the ‘Open link in a new window/tab’ checkbox to open the link in a new window …

Insert/edit link editor

(WordPress Insert/edit link tool)

Or link to existing content

This is the linking section that lets you create internal links. Enter a word or keyword phrase related to the title of the page or post you want to hyperlink in the Search field. WordPress will automatically display posts and pages containing those words …

Enter the search term to display related content

(Enter the search term to see related content)

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

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

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

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

Link to posts or pages

(Link to pages or posts)

You are not just limited to standard pages or posts. If you use custom post types on your website (custom post types are post types created to display information in a specific way, like products, testimonials, etc.), you can also create internal links to these …

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

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

If you would like the link to open in a new browser window, tick the Open link in a new window/tab box and click the Add Link button to create your internal link …

Check 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 …

You can open internal and external links in new windows - even external links to content about internal links ... woo hoo!

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

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

Internal content link

(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 update the link before publishing it to your site. …

WordPress automatically detects broken links

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

Important 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 hyperlinks if you want users to notice them

(Format links if you want to make them more noticeable)

Removing 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 remove a link 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 content editor menu as shown below

Removing hyperlinks in WordPress is easy ... you even get choices!

(Removing both internal and external hyperlinks is easy … just click a button!)

Your link will be removed …

Links deleted!

(Hyperlinks be gone!)

Plugins For Linking Content

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 do this task?

Yes, there are! As we explain in our comprehensive overview of WordPress plugins, 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 site, you can get additional SEO benefits from internal linking features such as:

  • Breadcrumb navigation links
  • Links to related posts
  • Linking through sidebar and footer widgets

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

Internal linking structures for SEO

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

Congratulations! Now you know how to easily create internal links in your WordPress posts and pages.

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"I am beyond impressed with what you have put together. I can tell that you put a ton of hard work into building what you have. You have the absolute best content on WordPress I have ever seen!" - Robert T. Jillie

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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.