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 WordPress Internal Hyperlinking ToolAccording 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.”

WordPress comes with built-in internal linking features, such as custom menus, permalinks, image 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 linking content both internally and externally.

Linking to other posts helps your readers discover more of your content and improves your site’s SEO. In this step-by-step tutorial, you will learn how to create internal linking structures in WordPress using the internal linking feature.

WordPress Linking Tool

(WordPress Internal Content Linking Feature)

Internal Links – Benefits

Internal linking simply means adding hyperlinks in your content to other posts and pages on your website.

Or, 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 uses extensive internal content linking extensively

(Wikipedia employs content linking extensively)

Inserting internal links into your content provides several benefits, not only for you as a website owner but also for your visitors and search engines. Internal content linking lets visitors access more content. This helps search robots index your web site faster. Sites like Wikipedia use internal linking strategies extensively for visitors.

Benefits Of Using Content Links #1 – Improved Website Usability And User Experience

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

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

One of the main purposes of a website is to provide visitors with relevant content. Offering users easier access to other parts of your website containing more of the content they are looking for not only improves the usability of your site, it also creates a better experience for your site’s users.

Improving user experience means that visitors stay longer on your site and visit more pages. In a well-thought-out sales funnel, this can easily result in more sales conversions.

Make sure that the information you are linking together is relevant for users. For example, it makes sense to add links on your company page to your main products or services page.

Benefits Of Content Linking #2 – Improve Your Website’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

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

(Use internal links to improve search results.)

Adding links in your content also improves your search engine optimization (SEO). Linking to other posts and pages on your site helps search indexing bots crawl sites faster and more easily than sites that contain only standalone posts and pages. This can result in more traffic to your website or blog.

An effective way to improve search engine optimization is by combining internal links with keyword relevancy. This is easily achieved by adding keyword terms to link URLs (these are called anchor text links).

For example, if your website provides wedding-related services or advice, you could hyperlink the keywords “green wedding gift ideas” from an article where you list unusual gifts for weddings to another article on your website about wedding gift registries.

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

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

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

Benefits Of Internal Links #3 – Increase Visibility And Exposure For Your Content

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

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

Over time, as you continue adding new content to your site, your entries will get older and get pushed down the chronology. This can cause posts to become less visited.

If you have useful content on older posts that you would like more visitors to access, insert 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 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 receives online … and this can lead to better results!

Using The Link Tool In WordPress

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

Prior to this advanced feature, if you wanted control over your internal linking strategy, you would have to manually search your site for the page you wanted to link to, then copy its URL and manually paste and add a link to it in your content. Now, performing internal linking in WordPress is really simple.

Here’s how you do it …

First, log into your WordPress dashboard, and find and open the post or page you would like to insert links in.

Next, find and highlight the keyword phrase you want to transform into a link.

After selecting and highlighting the content, click on the chain icon in the WordPress WYSIWYG editor menu (< here’s an internal link!) …

WordPress visual content editor menu - link tool

(WordPress visual editor – content link tool)

Useful Info

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

The Inline Linking tool appears below your selection …

WordPress Inline Linking

(WordPress Inline Linking)

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

Type in a search term to find related content

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

Click the ’Return’ button to create the link …

Inline Linking editor - Apply button

(Inline Linking editor – Apply button)

Your link will be inserted …

Link inserted into content

(Link added to content)

You can also access the advanced linking feature by clicking on the ‘Link Options’ icon …

Inline Linking tool - 'Link Options' button

(WordPress Inline Linking – ’Link Options’)

This brings up the Insert/edit link window …

Advanced link editor

(Internal link options)

This tool is divided into two sections:

Enter the destination URL

Paste in your target destination URL, enter the anchor text to display with the link and tick the ‘Open link in a new window/tab’ checkbox to open your link in a new window …

WordPress Insert/edit link editor

(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 post you want to hyperlink into the Search field. WordPress will automatically begin searching for posts and pages containing those words …

Enter the search term to see related posts and pages

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

Click the post or page you want to link to, and the URL of the selected item will automatically be added to the URL section …

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

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

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

Link to posts or pages

(Link to posts or pages)

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

Link to custom post types in addition to default posts or pages

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

If you want to open your link in a new browser window, tick 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 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 …

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

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

Your internal link is now created …

An internal link

(An internal link)

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

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

Format your hyperlinks to make them stand out

(Format links if you want to catch your readers’ attention)

Removing Links To Content

No tutorial on adding content links would be 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 remove a link from your pages or posts, just click anywhere on the link and then click either the ’remove’ icon on the link editor floating box or the ‘Remove link’ feature on the editor menu as shown below

Removing both internal and external links in WordPress is easy ... just click the button!

(Deleting hyperlinks is easy … just click the button!)

Your link will be removed …

Links is gone!

(Links deleted!)

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 linking tool.

Are there any WordPress plugins that can perform this work?

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 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 website or blog, you can get additional SEO benefits from internal linking features such as:

  • Breadcrumb links
  • Related posts
  • Internal linking through widgets

In a separate article, we’ll discuss additional types of linking content in WordPress, look at the pros and cons of automating links in WordPress, and look at a number of plugins you can look at for creating internal content linking automatically.

SEO internal linking

(Internal linking for SEO. Source: No Sweat WP Internal Links Lite WP plugin)

Congratulations … now you know how to easily create internal 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!