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 WordPress Inline Link ToolAn internal link is a hyperlink that connects content in different pages on your website or domain.

The WordPress CMS platform provides great built-in internal linking functions, such as menus, permalinks, text links, categories, tags, and archives pages, search results pages, link widgets, sidebar widgets (e.g. Recent Posts), comments RSS, an internal link tool, read more 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 in your WordPress website or domain has many SEO benefits. In this tutorial, you will learn how to create internal linking structures in WordPress using the advanced content linking tool.

The WordPress Internal Content Linking Function

(The WordPress Internal Content Linking Feature)

Internal Content Linking Benefits

Internal linking simply means adding links in your content to other sections of your WordPress site.

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 provide loads of examples of internal linking

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

Inserting links into content provides a number of benefits, not only for website owners, but also for visitors and search engines. Internal links enable visitors to access more content and ensures that search bots can better index web pages. Sites like Wikipedia rely extensively on internal links for visitors.

Benefits Of Using Internal Linking #1 – Improved Website Navigation And User Experience

Use content linking to improve website usability and user experience.

(Use content linking to improve site navigation and user experience.)

Websites are meant to provide visitors with relevant content. By offering users easier access to other sections of your website containing more of the content they want to see, you not only improve the usability of your site, 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 of your web pages. If you plan things well, this can easily lead to more sales.

Make sure that what you are actually linking together is relevant for users. For example, you may want to link your home page to your about page.

Benefits Of Using Internal Linking #2 – Site’s SEO

Use internal content linking to improve your website's search results.

(Use internal linking to improve your website’s search engine optimization (SEO).)

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

An effective way of improving search engine optimization is to combine internal linking with keyword relevancy. This can be easily achieved by adding keywords as titles to link URLs (these are called anchor text links).

For example, if you provide travel-related information or advice, you could link the keyword phrase “romantic cruises” from an article where you list different kinds of vacations to another blog post on your website describing various wedding destinations.

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

You can use keyword-relevant text links on titles, body text, image captions, etc.

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

Benefits Of Using Content Linking #3 – Get More Visibility And Exposure For Your Content

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

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

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

If there is old but useful 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 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 visitors can see and search engines can access, the more visibility and exposure your business receives online … which can lead to better results!

How To Use The Hyperlink Tool In WordPress

A link tool was introduced in WordPress v. 3.1 that allows you to easily link content inside pages to other posts and pages. This feature was improved in WordPress v. 4.5 to include an inline link editor.

Prior to the introduction of this feature, if you wanted control over your internal linking strategy, you would have to manually look 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 links to content in WordPress is really simple.

Here’s how to do it …

Log into your WordPress dashboard, then find and open the post or page you would like to create internal links in.

Next, find and highlight the word or content you want to transform into a link.

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

WordPress visual content editor menu - linking tool

(WordPress WYSIWYG editor menu – content linking tool)

Tip

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

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

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

The Inline Linking tool will display below the selected keywords …

Inline Linking Tool

(WordPress Inline Linking)

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

Enter a search term to find related posts and pages

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

Click the ’Return’ icon to create the link …

Inline Linking - Apply button

(Inline Linking – Apply button)

Your link has now been added …

Link added to content

(Hyperlink inserted into content)

You can also use the advanced linking tool by clicking on the gear (‘Link Options’) button …

WordPress Inline Linking - 'Link Options'

(WordPress Inline Linking editor – ‘Link Options’ button)

This brings up the Insert/edit link window …

Advanced content link tool

(Internal content link editor)

By default, you will see two sections:

Enter the destination URL

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

Insert/edit link tool

(Insert/edit link tool)

Or link to existing content

This feature allows you to insert internal links. Type a word or keyword related to the post you want to hyperlink in the Search box. WordPress will automatically retrieve pages and posts containing those words …

Type in the search term to see related posts and pages

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

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

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

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

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

Link to pages or posts

(Link to posts or pages)

You are not limited to regular posts or pages. If you use custom WordPress post types on your site, you can also link to these …

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

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

If you want the linked content to open in a new window, then tick the Open link in a new window/tab box and click the Add Link button

Tick the box and your link will open in a new window

(Check 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 …

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

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

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

An internal link

(An internal link … sublime and beautiful!)

WordPress Automatically Detects Broken Links

From 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)

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

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

Format links if you want visitors to notice them

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

Removing Links To Content

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

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

Removing both internal and external hyperlinks is easy ... you even get choices!

(Deleting links is easy … just click the button!)

Your hyperlink will be removed …

Links deleted!

(Plain text … all links removed!)

Plugins For Creating Internal Content Links Automatically

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

Are there plugins for WordPress that can do this task?

Yes, there are! As we explain in this article, there are WordPress plugins for everything. And if you cannot find a plugin that does what you are looking for, one can be created for you.

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

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

In another article, we’ll discuss additional content linking strategies in WordPress, examine the pros and cons of automating content links in WordPress, and look at several WordPress plugins that can help you create internal links automatically.

SEO internal linking

(SEO internal linking. Source: No Sweat WP Internal Links Lite WP plugin)

Congratulations! Now you know how easy it is to create internal links in WordPress.

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"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

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