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 Using The Inline Linking EditorAccording 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.”

A WordPress blog comes with built-in content linking features, such as menus, permalinks, text links, archives, categories, and tags pages, site search pages, link widgets, sidebar widgets (e.g. Latest Posts), entries RSS feeds, a default linking tool, read more tags, etc. Additional link features can also be added to WordPress via plugins. In short, WordPress is an ideal platform for adding extensive content linking.

In this tutorial, we discuss the benefits of using internal linking in your content, and how to easily link content in your pages and posts using the WordPress hyperlinking tool.

WordPress Hyperlink Tool

(WordPress Hyperlink Tool)

Internal Content Linking Benefits

Internal content links are simply hyperlinks in your content to relevant sections of your website or blog.

Here is how Wikipedia defines internal linking …

“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 internal content linking extensively

(Wikipedia’s pages provide great examples of internal linking)

Adding hyperlinks to other content has many benefits, not only for website owners, but also for web visitors and search engines. Internal links let users access more content and helps search spiders index web site faster.

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

Use internal content links to improve website usability and user experience.

(Use internal linking to improve website usability and user experience.)

Websites are supposed to provide visitors with relevant information. By offering users easier access to other parts of your site that contain more of the content they want to see, you not only improve the quality of your website, 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. In a well-planned website, this leads to better sales conversions.

Make sure that what you are linking together is relevant for users. For example, it makes sense to add links on your company page to your contact details page.

Benefits Of Internal Linking #2 – Site’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

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

(Use internal links to improve your website’s SEO.)

Internal links improve your search engine rankings. By creating internal links to content on other pages or posts on your site, you are helping search indexing robots crawl sites more thoroughly, faster and more easily than sites that include only standalone pages and posts. This can result in more traffic to your site.

One of the more effective ways to improve SEO is to combine internal links with relevant keywords. This is easily achieved by adding keyword terms to hyperlinks (these are called anchor text links).

For example, if you provide wedding-related products, you could hyperlink the keywords “sustainable wedding gift ideas” from a post listing unusual gifts for weddings to another article on your site listing wedding gift registries.

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

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

(Add anchor text links to titles, body text, image captions, etc.)

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

Use content links to increase content visibility & exposure.

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

In WordPress, as you continue adding content to your site, older posts get pushed further down the chronology. This can cause posts to become less visited.

If there is useful content on older posts that is not getting as much exposure as you would like, you can place 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 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!

How To Create Internal Linking In Your Posts And Pages Using The WordPress Inline Link Feature

In WP v. 3.1, a link function was introduced that allows you to quickly and easily link content inside pages and posts to other posts and pages. This feature was upgraded in WordPress v. 4.5 to include an inline linking tool.

Prior to the introduction of this feature, if you wanted to control your internal linking strategy, you would have to manually search your site for the page or post 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 quite simple.

Here’s how to do it …

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

Next, find and highlight the words, phrase, or sentence you would like to transform into a link.

After selecting and highlighting the text, click on the hyperlinking feature in the WordPress visual content editor menu (< this is an internal link!) …

WordPress visual editor menu - link tool

(WordPress visual content editor menu – content linking tool)

Important

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

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

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

The Inline Linking tool appears below your selection …

Inline Linking Editor

(Inline Linking)

Paste in your link URL or type a word or keyword related to the title of the post or page you want to hyperlink into the box to find related content …

Enter a search term to find related content

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

Click the ’Return’ button to create the link …

Inline Linking - Apply button

(Inline Linking – Apply button)

Your link will be inserted …

Hyperlink added to content

(Link added to content)

You can also use the advanced linking feature by clicking on the gear button …

WordPress Inline Linking editor - 'Link Options' button

(Inline Linking – ’Link Options’)

This brings up the Insert/edit link window …

Advanced link options

(Advanced content linking editor)

This window is divided into two sections:

Enter the destination URL

Paste in your target destination URL, type in the Link Text to display with the link and tick the ‘Open link in a new window/tab’ check box to open the link in a new window/tab …

Insert/edit link editor

(Insert/edit link editor)

Or link to existing content

This is the linking feature that allows you to create internal links to your content. Type a word or keyword related to the page or post you want to hyperlink into the Search field. WordPress will automatically display related posts and pages containing those words …

Type in the search term to see related content

(Enter the search term to find related content)

Select the title of 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 …

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

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

Notice that the feature shows you which items are pages and which are posts …

Link to posts or pages

(Link to pages or posts)

You are not limited to posts or pages. You can also link to custom post types like products, portfolios, etc. …

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

(Create internal links to custom post types in addition to regular pages or posts)

If you would like the linked content to open in a new browser window, 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 to open your link 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 …

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

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

Congratulations … you have created an internal link to content in other pages or posts …

An internal link

(Internal content link)

WordPress Automatically Detects Broken Links

From WP 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)

Useful 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 WYSIWYG editor menu (< there’s that internal link again! :)) …

Format your links if you want readers to notice them

(Format hyperlinks if you want to make them stand out)

Removing Content Links

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

To remove a link from your posts or pages, just click anywhere on the link and then click either the little cross icon on the link editor floating box or the ‘Remove link’ icon on the WordPress editor menu as shown below

Deleting hyperlinks is easy ... WordPress even gives you different choices!

(Deleting hyperlinks is easy … WordPress even gives you choices!)

Your hyperlink will be removed …

Non-clickable content ... all links removed!

(Hyperlinks is gone!)

Plugins For Linking Content Internally

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

Are there any plugins for WordPress that can do this job?

Yes, there are! As we explain in our comprehensive overview of WordPress plugins, there are plugins for everything you can imagine. And if you can’t find a plugin that does what you want, one can be created for you.

Also, depending on the kind of plugins and themes used on your site, you can benefit from additional internal linking features such as:

  • Breadcrumbs
  • 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 benefits and challenges of automating content links in WordPress, and look at various plugins that can help you create links automatically on your site:

Internal linking for SEO

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

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 the author of The Small Business Digital Manager. WPCompendium.org provides hundreds of FREE detailed step-by-step tutorials that will teach you how to use WordPress to grow your business online at minimal cost with no coding skills required!

Originally published as How To Use The WordPress Internal Linking Tool.