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 …

For a whitelabel version of this tutorial visit WPTrainingManual.com.

Creating Internal Links Using The WordPress Linking FeatureAccording to SEO consulting company Moz, “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.”

The WordPress CMS platform comes with built-in content linking functions, such as custom menus, permalinks, image links, categories, tags, and archives pages, search results pages, link widgets, sidebar widgets (e.g. Latest Posts), comments RSS feeds, a default link tool, continue reading tags, etc. Additional link features can also be added to WordPress using a range of plugins. In short, WordPress is an ideal platform for creating extensive content linking.

In this tutorial you will learn how to insert internal links into WordPress using the advanced content linking feature.

WordPress Built-In Hyperlink Function

(WordPress Internal Content Linking Function)

Benefits Of Internal Links

Internal content links are simply links added to your content to relevant content on your website.

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 internal linking extensively

(Wikipedia’s pages contain many internal content links)

Using internal links to other pages provides several benefits, not only for you as the website owner but also for your web visitors and search engines. Internal content links enable visitors to access more content. This also helps search engine spiders index your web pages faster. Wikipedia pages are great examples of using internal links.

Benefits Of Content Linking #1 – Improved Site Navigation And User Experience

Use internal content linking to improve website navigation and user experience.

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

Websites are meant to provide users with the information they are searching for. By offering users easier access to other parts of your website containing more of the content they are looking for, you not only improve the quality of your site, but also your site’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 results.

It’s important to make sure that the content you are actually linking together is relevant for your users. For example, it makes sense to link your company page to your contact details page.

Benefit Of Using Internal Content Linking #2 – Improved SEO

Use internal content links to improve your website's search rankings.

(Use content linking to site’s SEO results.)

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

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

For example, if your business provides travel-related information, you could hyperlink the keywords “romantic cruises” from an article on different kinds of vacations to another blog post on your site listing exotic destinations. This will help search engines gain a better understanding of what the content on your web pages are about.

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

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

(You can add anchor text links to content titles, body text, image captions, etc.)

Benefits Of Using Content Linking #3 – Increased Content Visibility And Exposure

Use internal content links to increase content visibility and exposure.

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

Over time, as you continue adding content to your site, older posts get pushed down the chronological table. This can lead to your posts becoming less popular.

If there is content on older posts or pages that is not getting as much exposure as you would like, consider inserting 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.

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

Using The Advanced Content Hyperlinking Tool In WordPress

An advanced linking tool was introduced in WP version 3.1 that lets you link content in pages to other posts and pages. This feature was upgraded in WordPress 4.5 to include an inline link tool.

Prior to this advanced feature, if you wanted to control your internal linking strategy, you would have to manually look for the page you wanted to link to, then copy its URL and manually link to it in your content. Now, creating internal linking inside pages and posts in WordPress is quite simple.

Here’s how you do it …

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

Next, find and highlight the words, phrase, or content you would like to create as a hyperlink.

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

WordPress visual content editor menu - link tool

(WordPress visual content editor – content linking feature)

Important Info

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

The linking tool 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 editor)

The Inline Linking tool appears below your selection …

WordPress Inline Linking Tool

(Inline Linking)

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

Type in a search term to find related posts and pages

(Enter a search term to view related posts and pages)

Click the ‘Apply’ button to create the link …

Inline Linking editor - Apply button

(WordPress Inline Linking – Apply button)

Your link is now added …

Hyperlink inserted into content

(Hyperlink inserted into content)

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

Inline Linking tool - 'Link Options' button

(Inline Linking – ’Link Options’)

This brings up the Insert/edit link window …

Advanced linking options

(Advanced content link feature)

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

Enter the destination URL

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

WordPress Insert/edit link tool

(WordPress Insert/edit link tool)

Or link to existing content

This feature allows you to insert internal links into your content. Enter a word or keyword phrase related to the page you want to hyperlink in the Search field. WordPress automatically begins looking for content items containing those words …

Type in the search term to see related pages and posts

(Type in the search term to display related content)

Select the title of the post or page you want to link to, and the item’s URL will automatically be inserted into the fields in the destination URL section …

Select the post or page to link to in your content

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

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

Link to posts or pages

(Link to pages or posts)

But you are not just limited to default posts or pages. If you use custom WordPress post types on your website (custom post types are post types created to display specific information, e.g. products, slides, etc.), you can also create internal links to these …

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

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

If you would like to open your linked content in a new window, then tick 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

(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 for both internal and external links …

Open internal and external links in a new window - even external links to content about internal links ... woo hoo!

(Open external and internal links in a new window – even external links to content about internal links!)

Your internal link is now created …

Internal content link

(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 correct the 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 editor menu (< there’s that internal link again! :)) …

You can format your links if you want visitors to notice them

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

How To Delete Links

No tutorial on adding content links would feel 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 hyperlink from your content, 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 editor menu as shown below

Deleting both internal and external hyperlinks is easy ... just click a button!

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

Your link will be removed …

Plain text ... all links removed!

(Plain content … all links removed!)

Internal Linking Plugins for WordPress

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

Are there any WordPress plugins that can automate this job?

Yes … Of course! As we explain in this article, there are plugins for just about 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 kind of plugins and themes installed on your site, you can get additional SEO benefits from internal linking features such as:

  • Breadcrumb links
  • Related posts
  • Internal linking through footer and sidebar widgets

In a separate article, we’ll discuss additional content linking strategies in WordPress, look at the pros and cons of automating links in WordPress, and look at various plugins you can check out for creating internal links automatically on your website.

SEO internal linking

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

Congratulations! Now you know how to easily create internal links to 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

For a whitelabel version of this tutorial visit WPTrainingManual.com.
Originally published as How To Use The WordPress Internal Linking Tool.