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 Linking In Your Content Using The WordPress Inline Link FeatureAccording to Moz, the SEO consulting company, “internal links are hyperlinks that point at (target) the same domain as the domain that the link exists on (source). In layman’s terms, an internal link is one that points to another page on the same website.”

A WordPress website or blog provides built-in internal linking functions, such as menus, permalinks, image links, tags, categories, and archives pages, search results pages, link widgets, sidebar widgets (e.g. Recent Posts), entries RSS, an internal linking tool, continue reading tags, etc. Additional link features 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 internal linking feature.

WordPress Hyperlinking Tool

(WordPress Built-In Hyperlink Function)

Benefits Of Using Content Links

Internal content linking simply means adding links in your content pointing to relevant sections of 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 employs content linking extensively

(Wikipedia employs internal content linking extensively)

Using internal links to other pages provides many benefits, not only for you as a website owner but also for your visitors and search engines. Internal content linking allows users to view more content. This also helps search engines better index your web site. Sites like Wikipedia use internal content linking strategies extensively for giving users access to information.

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

Use internal linking to improve site navigation and create a better user experience.

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

The main purpose of a website is to provide users with the relevant content they are looking for. By offering users easier access to other sections of your website containing more of the content they are searching for, you not only improve the navigation of your site, you also create a better experience for your 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 can easily result in more sales.

It’s important to make sure that the content 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.

Benefit Of Content Links #2 – Site’s SEO Results

Use internal content linking to improve your website's SEO.

(Use content links to improve SEO results.)

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

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

For example, if your blog provides travel-related information or advice, you could create a post describing romantic travel tips and ideas and hyperlink the keyword phrase “romantic cruises” to another blog post on your website about honeymoon destinations.

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

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

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

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

Use content linking to get more visibility & exposure for your content.

(Use internal content linking to increase visibility and exposure for your content.)

In WordPress, as you continue adding content to your site, your posts will get older and get pushed further down the chronology. This can lead to many posts losing popularity.

If there is old but important content on your site that you would like more visitors to read, you can place internal links within the content of your more popular pages pointing to your less popular posts 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 you have being seen by visitors and being indexed by search engines, the more visibility and exposure your business receives online … and this can lead to better results!

Creating Internal Links Using The WordPress Advanced Linking Editor

In WP version 3.1, an internal linking function was introduced that lets you link content in your posts and pages to other posts and pages on your site. This feature was upgraded in WP v. 4.5 to include an inline linking tool.

Prior to this advanced feature, if you wanted to control 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, creating linking inside WordPress pages and posts is very simple.

Here’s how you do it …

Log into your WordPress admin area, then find and open the post or page you want to insert internal links in.

Next, highlight the keyword phrase you want to add a link to.

Once you have selected and highlighted the words, click on the insert/edit link tool in the WordPress visual editor menu (< here’s an internal link!) …

WordPress visual editor - link tool

(WordPress visual content editor menu – content linking tool)

Idea

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

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

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

The Inline Linking tool will display below the selected keywords …

Inline Linking Tool

(WordPress Inline Linking Tool)

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

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

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

Click the ‘Apply’ button to insert your link …

WordPress Inline Linking - Apply button

(Inline Linking – Apply button)

Your link has now been inserted …

Link inserted into content

(Link inserted into content)

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

WordPress Inline Linking editor - 'Link Options' button

(Inline Linking – ‘Link Options’ button)

This brings up the Insert/edit link window …

Internal linking feature

(Advanced content link feature)

By default, you will see two sections:

Enter the destination URL

Paste in the URL of your target link, add the anchor text associated with the link and choose whether to open your link in a new window/tab …

Insert/edit link tool

(Insert/edit link editor)

Or link to existing content

This is the feature that lets you insert internal links into your content. Type a word or keyword phrase related to the title of the post or page you want to hyperlink in the Search field. WordPress will automatically retrieve pages and posts containing those words …

Enter the search term to display related pages and posts

(Type in the search term to find related content)

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

Click on the page or post to link to in your content

(Click on the page or post to link to in your content)

Notice that the tool brings up both posts and pages …

Link to pages or posts

(Link to pages or posts)

You are not limited to pages or posts. 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 default pages or posts

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

If you would like to open your linked content in a new 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 in both internal and external links …

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

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

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

Internal content link

(An internal link … sublime and beautiful!)

WordPress Automatically Detects Broken Links

From WordPress 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

If you want, you can also format your internal links (e.g. you can italicize your link, make it bold, add color, etc …) using the format buttons in your WordPress visual editor menu (< there’s that internal link again! :)) …

You can format links if you want readers to notice them

(You can format hyperlinks to make them more visible)

How To Remove Content Links

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

To remove a hyperlink 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’ icon on the WordPress content editor menu as shown below

Deleting hyperlinks is easy ... just click the button!

(Deleting both internal and external links is easy … WordPress even gives you different choices!)

Your hyperlink will be removed …

Links removed!

(Non-clickable content … all links removed!)

Internal Linking Plugins for WordPress

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

Are there WordPress plugins that can automate this job?

Yes, there are! As we explain in this article, there are WordPress plugins that can do almost everything imaginable. 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 theme used on your website or blog, you can benefit from additional internal linking features such as:

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

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

Internal linking for SEO

(Internal linking structures for SEO. Screenshot image source: No Sweat WP Internal Links Lite - plugin for WordPress)

Congratulations! Now you know how to easily add links to content in WordPress.

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Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the founder of WPCompendium.org and has authored hundreds of FREE WordPress tutorials for non-techies and beginners. WPCompendium.org provides detailed step-by-step tutorials that will teach you how to use WordPress with no coding skills required and grow your business online at minimal cost!