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 Advanced Link EditorLinking to other posts and pages on your WordPress website or domain is called internal linking.

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

This tutorial explains how to add internal links to WordPress using the advanced link feature.

WordPress Built-In Link Tool

(WordPress Hyperlink Tool)

Internal Content Linking Benefits

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

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 employs internal linking extensively

(Wikipedia uses internal content linking extensively)

Adding hyperlinks to posts and pages provides a number of benefits, not only for the website owner, but also for visitors and search engines. Internal content linking lets users access more content and helps search engines better index pages. Wikipedia is a great example of a site that relies on internal content linking.

Benefit Of Internal Links #1 – Improve Your Website Usability And Create A Better User Experience

Use internal links to improve website navigation and user experience.

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

Web pages are supposed to provide visitors with the information that they are looking for. By offering users easier access to other areas of your website that contain more of the content they are searching for, you not only improve the usability of your website, 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 of your web pages. If you plan your marketing strategy well, this creates improved sales results.

It’s important to make sure that the information you are actually linking together is relevant for your users. For example, you may want to add links on your company page to your contact details page.

Benefits Of Using Internal Content Linking #2 – Improve Your Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Use internal content linking to improve your SEO.

(Use content linking to improve search engine optimization (SEO).)

Adding internal links improves your search engine optimization (SEO). By creating internal links to other posts and pages on your website, you are helping search engine indexing robots crawl pages faster, more easily and more thoroughly than sites that only comprise of standalone pages and posts. This can drive more traffic to your website or blog.

One of the most effective ways to improve SEO is to combine internal linking with relevant keywords. This can be easily achieved by adding link text to hyperlinks (these are called anchor text links).

For example, if your website provides wedding-related services or advice, you could create a post describing unusual wedding gifts and hyperlink the keywords “green wedding gift ideas” to another section of your site containing a wedding gift registry directory.

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

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

(You can use anchor text links on content titles, body text, image captions, etc.)

Benefit Of Using Content Links #3 – Increased Content Visibility And Exposure

Use internal links to get more visibility and exposure for your content.

(Use internal linking to increase content visibility & exposure.)

As you continue adding content to WordPress, your post entries will become older and get pushed down the chronology. This can cause many of your posts to become less visited.

If you have older content on your site that is not getting as much exposure as you would like, consider adding 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 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 … and this can lead to better results!

How To Use The WordPress Inline Hyperlinking Tool

An internal linking function was introduced in WP version 3.1 that allows you to link content in posts to other posts and pages on your site. This feature was updated in WP v. 4.5 to include an inline linking 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 or post to link to, then copy its URL and manually paste and add a link to it in your content. Now, performing linking operations inside posts and pages is really simple.

Here’s how you do it …

Log into your WordPress admin section, find and open the post or page you would like to add internal links into.

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

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 WYSIWYG editor menu - link tool

(WordPress WYSIWYG editor – content linking tool)

Tip

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

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

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

The Inline Linking editor appears below the selection …

Inline Linking

(Inline Linking)

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

Type in a search term to find related content

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

Click the ’Return’ button to create the link …

WordPress Inline Linking tool - Apply button

(WordPress Inline Linking – Apply button)

Your link will be inserted into the content …

Link added to content

(Link added to content)

You can also access the advanced linking feature by clicking on the gear icon …

Inline Linking - 'Link Options'

(Inline Linking – ’Link Options’)

This brings up the Insert/edit link window …

Advanced content link editor

(Internal linking options)

This window is divided into two sections:

Enter the destination URL

Paste in the URL of your target link, add the Link 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 editor)

Or link to existing content

This section lets you add internal links. Type a word or keyword phrase related to the text you want to hyperlink into the Search field. WordPress will automatically begin searching for posts and pages containing those words …

Type in the search term to see related content

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

Select the post or page you want to link to, and the item’s URL automatically gets added to the URL section …

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

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

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

Link to pages or posts

(Link to pages or posts)

But you are not just limited to regular posts or pages. If you use custom WordPress post types on your website or blog (custom post types are post types created for a custom purpose, e.g. products, portfolios, etc.), you can also link to these …

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

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

If you want the linked content to open in a new browser 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 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 in both internal and external links …

You can open internal and external links in a new window - 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 content in other posts or pages …

Internal content link

(Internal content link)

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 update the 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

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

You can format links to make them stand out

(You can format links if you want readers to notice them)

How To Delete Links To Content

No tutorial on adding links to content is complete without showing you how to remove any links that you no longer want, so let’s cover this topic 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’ feature on the editor menu as shown below

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

(Deleting hyperlinks is easy … you even get choices!)

Your hyperlink will be removed …

Plain text ... all links removed!

(Hyperlinks be gone!)

WordPress Plugins For Creating Internal Content Links

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

Are there plugins for WordPress that can perform 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 need, one can be created for you.

Also, depending on the kind of theme used on your website or blog, you can benefit from additional internal linking features such as:

  • Breadcrumbs
  • Related posts
  • Internal linking through widgets

In a separate article, we’ll discuss additional content linking strategies in WordPress, look at the pros and cons of automating content links in WordPress, and look at a few WordPress plugins that can help you create internal links automatically on your website.

Internal linking for SEO

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

Congratulations! Now you know how easy it is to add links to content in your WordPress pages and posts.

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"If you're new to WordPress, this can stand on its own as a training course and will stay with you as you progress from beginner to advanced and even guru status." - Bruce (Columbus, Ohio)

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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.