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 Use The Advanced Content Hyperlinking Tool In WordPressAccording 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 comes with great built-in content linking features, such as custom menus, permalinks, text links, categories, tags, and archives pages, search results pages, link widgets, sidebar widgets (e.g. Recent Posts), comments RSS feeds, a default link tool, post excerpt links, etc. Additional linking features can also be added to WordPress via plugins. In short, WordPress is perfect for creating extensive content linking.

This step-by-step tutorial explains the benefits of internal linking and how to create internal linking structures in WordPress using the internal content link tool.

WordPress Hyperlinking Tool

(The WordPress Built-In Linking Tool)

Internal Linking – Benefits

Internal linking simply means adding links in your content to relevant sections of your website.

Or, as Wikipedia defines 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 content linking extensively)

Using internal content links to pages and posts provides a number of benefits, not only for you as a website owner but also for your web visitors and search engines. Internal linking enables users to view more content. This also ensures that search robots can index your site faster.

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

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

(Use internal content links to improve website usability and create a better user experience.)

One of the main purposes of a website is to provide users with the relevant information that they are looking for. By offering users easier access to other parts of your website containing more of the content they want to see, you not only improve the navigation 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 pages. In a well-planned website, this leads to improved sales conversions.

Make sure that the information you are actually linking together is relevant for users. For example, you may want to add links on your company page to your contact page.

Benefits Of Internal Content Links #2 – Improve Your Website’s Search Rankings

Use internal content links to site's SEO results.

(Use content links to improve search rankings.)

Adding links in your content improves your search engine rankings. By creating internal links to content on other pages or posts on your website, you are helping search engine bots crawl pages faster, more easily and more thoroughly than sites that contain only standalone pages. This can drive more web traffic to your website.

An effective way of improving SEO is by combining internal linking with keyword relevancy. This can be easily achieved by adding keywords as titles to hyperlinks (called anchor text links).

For example, if you provide wedding services, you could create an article where you describe unusual gifts for weddings and link the keywords “eco wedding gift ideas” to another section of your site containing a directory of wedding gift registries.

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

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

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

Benefits Of Content Links #3 – Increased Content Visibility & Exposure

Use internal links to increase content visibility & exposure.

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

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

If you have old but important content on your site that is not getting as much exposure as you would like, you can place internal links within the content of your more popular posts pointing to your less popular posts to increase their exposure, and/or add links to older posts to help them get found again by your site visitors and search engines.

Having more of your content being seen by visitors and accessed by search engines means more visibility and exposure for your business online … and this can lead to better results!

How To Create Internal Linking Using The WordPress Advanced Link Editor

In WordPress 3.1, a link tool was introduced that lets you easily link content in pages to other posts and pages. This feature was improved in WordPress 4.5 to include an inline link editor.

Prior to this advanced feature, if you wanted control over 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 linking operations inside content in WordPress is very simple.

Here’s how to do it …

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

Next, highlight the content you would like to create as a hyperlink.

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

WordPress visual editor - linking tool

(WordPress WYSIWYG editor – content linking feature)

Tip

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

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

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

The Inline Linking tool appears below the highlighted phrase …

WordPress Inline Linking

(Inline Linking Tool)

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

Enter a search term to find related content

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

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

WordPress Inline Linking tool - Apply button

(Inline Linking tool – Apply button)

Your link will be added to the content …

Hyperlink added to content

(Link inserted into content)

You can also use the advanced linking feature by clicking on the gear button …

WordPress Inline Linking editor - 'Link Options' button

(WordPress Inline Linking editor – ’Link Options’)

This brings up the Insert/edit link window …

Advanced content link feature

(Advanced content link options)

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

Enter the destination URL

Paste in your link URL, type in the anchor text to display with the link and select whether to open the link in a new window …

Insert/edit link tool

(Insert/edit link tool)

Or link to existing content

This is the section that allows you to insert internal links. Begin typing a word or keyword related to the page or post you want to hyperlink in the Search field. WordPress automatically begins looking for pages and posts containing those words …

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

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

Select the title of the post or page you would like to link to, and the URL of your selected item automatically gets added to the fields in the destination URL section …

Select the post or page to link your content to

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

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

Link to pages or posts

(Link to posts or pages)

You are not just limited to posts or pages. If you use custom post types on your site, you can also create internal links to these …

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

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

If you would like to open your linked content in a new browser window, select the Open link in a new window/tab box and click the Add Link button

Tick the box to open your link 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 or tab 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 ... whooa!

(You can open external and internal 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

(Voilá … 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 fix your 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:

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, change the link color, etc …) using the format buttons in your WordPress WYSIWYG editor menu (< there’s that internal link again! :)) …

Format your hyperlinks if you want to make them more visible

(You can format your hyperlinks if you want visitors to notice them)

Removing Links To Content

No tutorial on adding content links is complete without showing you how to remove any links that you no longer want, so let’s take care of this topic 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 box or the ‘Remove link’ icon on the content editor menu as shown below

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

(Deleting both internal and external links is easy … just click a button!)

Your link will be removed …

Hyperlinks deleted!

(Plain text … all links removed!)

Plugins For Creating Internal Content Links

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

Are there any plugins for WordPress that can do this job?

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 type of plugins and themes installed on your site, you can get additional SEO benefits from internal linking features such as:

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

In another 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 internal linking automatically on your website:

SEO internal linking structures

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

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 the author of The Small Business Digital Manager. WPCompendium.org provides hundreds of FREE detailed step-by-step tutorials that will teach you how to use WordPress to grow your business online at minimal cost with no coding skills required!

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