Linking to other pages on your own website or domain is called internal linking.
A WordPress site provides built-in content linking features, such as custom menus, permalinks, text links, archives, categories, and tags pages, site search pages, link widgets, sidebar widgets (e.g. Latest Posts), comments RSS feeds, a default linking tool, post excerpt links, etc. Additional link functionality can also be added to WordPress via plugins. In short, WordPress is perfect for creating extensive content linking.
In this step-by-step tutorial, you will discover the benefits of internal linking and how to create internal linking structures in WordPress using the internal linking feature.
(WordPress Internal Hyperlinking Tool)
Internal Content Linking Benefits
Internal content links are simply hyperlinks added to your content to other sections of your website or blog.
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 employs extensive content linking extensively)
Using internal links in pages and posts provides many benefits, not only for website owners, but also for visitors and search engines. Internal content links enable users to view more content and ensures that search engines can better index web pages.
Benefits Of Using Internal Links #1 – Improved Site Usability And User Experience
(Use internal linking to improve website usability and user experience.)
Websites are supposed 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 navigation of your site, but also your user’s 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-thought-out content marketing strategy, this creates better sales conversions.
Make sure that the information you are linking together is relevant for your users. For example, it makes sense to add links on your company page to your contact page.
Benefits Of Using Internal Links #2 – Improve Your Website’s SEO Results
(Use content linking to improve search rankings.)
Adding links in your content improves your SEO results. Linking to other posts or pages on your site helps search engine robots crawl web pages more easily, faster and more thoroughly than sites that contain only standalone pages. This can drive more organic search traffic to your site.
One of the most effective ways to improve your site’s search engine optimization is by combining internal linking with relevant keywords. This can be easily achieved by adding link text to link URLs (called anchor text links).
For example, if your blog provides travel information, you could link the keyword phrase “romantic cruises” from a post describing different types of cruises to another section of your website about wedding destinations. This will help search engines get a better understanding of what your site is all about.
Using anchor text links is a lot more effective for both search engines and visitors. You can add keyword-relevant text links to content titles, body text, image captions, and so on.
(Use anchor text links on titles, body text, image captions, etc.)
Benefits Of Using Internal Content Linking #3 – Increased Content Visibility And Exposure
(Use internal linking to increase content visibility and exposure.)
In WordPress, as you continue adding content, your entries will get older and get pushed further down the chronological table. This can cause posts to become less visited.
If you have important content on older posts that is not getting as much exposure as you would like, consider inserting 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!
How To Use The WordPress Hyperlink Tool
An advanced linking feature was introduced in WP version 3.1 that lets you easily link content inside posts and pages to other posts and pages on your site. This feature was improved in WP v. 4.5 to include an inline linking tool.
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, creating internal links in WordPress is really simple.
Here’s how to do it …
First, log into your WordPress admin section, find and open the post or page you want to insert internal links in.
Next, highlight the word or words you want to turn into a link.
After you have selected and highlighted the text, click on the linking icon in the WordPress WYSIWYG editor menu (< here’s an internal link!) …
(WordPress visual editor – content linking tool)
If you find yourself In the ‘Text’ tab of the editor, click the ‘link’ button to access the linking tool …
(The link feature can also be accessed in the ‘Text’ tab of the content editor)
The Inline Linking editor appears below the selected phrase …
(WordPress Inline Linking Tool)
Paste in your link URL or enter a search term to find related posts and pages …
(Enter a search term to bring up related posts and pages)
Click the ’Return’ (Apply) button to insert your link …
(WordPress Inline Linking – Apply button)
Your link has now been inserted into your content …
(Hyperlink added to content)
You can access the advanced linking editor by clicking on the gear button …
(Inline Linking editor – ’Link Options’)
This brings up the Insert/edit link window …
(Advanced linking options)
This tool is divided into two sections:
Enter the destination URL
Paste in your link URL, enter the anchor text associated with the link and choose whether to open your link in a new window/tab …
(Insert/edit link tool)
Or link to existing content
This is the feature that lets you add internal links to your content. Type a word or keyword related to the post you want to hyperlink in the Search box. WordPress will automatically display related posts and pages containing those words …
(Enter the search term to begin finding related posts and pages)
Select the post or page you would like to link to, and the item’s URL will automatically be inserted into the fields in the destination URL section …
(Click on the post or page you would like to link your content to)
Notice that the feature brings up both posts and pages …
(Link to pages or posts)
But you are not just limited to regular pages or posts. If you use custom post types on your site, you can also create internal links to these …
(Link content in WordPress to custom WordPress post types in addition to standard pages or posts)
If you would like the link to open 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 …
(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 new windows – even external links pointing to content about internal links!)
Congratulations … you have created an internal link to your content …
(An internal link … sublime and beautiful!)
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 your link before publishing it to your site. …
(WordPress automatically detects broken links. Source: WordPress 4.6 Features)
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:
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.
- 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)
To see this feature in action, watch the short video demo below:
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 to make them more visible)
Removing Links To Content
No tutorial on adding content links would be complete without showing you how to delete any links that you no longer want, so let’s cover this right now.
To delete a link from your posts or pages, just click anywhere on the link and then click either the ’remove’ icon on the link editor floating box or the ‘Remove link’ tool on the content editor menu as shown below
(Deleting hyperlinks is easy … you even get choices!)
Your link will be removed …
(Plain text … all links removed!)
WordPress Plugins For Linking Content Internally
So far, we have looked at how to create links to content in WordPress manually using the WordPress inline linking feature.
Are there plugins for WordPress that can automate this job?
Yes … Of course! As we explain in our comprehensive overview of WordPress plugins, there are WordPress plugins that can do almost everything you can imagine. 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 installed on your website or blog, you can benefit from additional internal linking features such as:
- Breadcrumb links
- Links to related posts
- Linking through footer and sidebar widgets
In a separate article, we’ll discuss additional methods of linking content 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.
(SEO internal linking. Image source: No Sweat WP Internal Links Lite - WordPress plugin)
Congratulations! Now you know how easy it is to link content in your WordPress pages and posts.
"I have used the tutorials to teach all of my clients and it has probably never been so easy for everyone to learn WordPress ... Now I don't need to buy all these very expensive video courses that often don't deliver what they promise." - Stefan Wendt, Internet Marketing Success Group