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.

Using The WordPress Hyperlinking ToolAccording 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.”

A website built with WordPress provides great built-in internal linking functions, such as menus, permalinks, image links, categories, tags, and archives pages, search results pages, link widgets, sidebar widgets (e.g. Latest Posts), entries RSS, a default link tool, continue reading tags, etc. Additional linking features can also be added to WordPress using plugins. In short, WordPress is perfect for linking content both internally and externally.

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

WordPress Internal Hyperlinking Tool

(WordPress Internal Linking Tool)

Internal Linking Benefits

Internal content linking simply means adding links in your content to relevant 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 content linking extensively

(Wikipedia uses extensive internal linking extensively)

Adding internal links to web posts and pages has several benefits, not only for website owners, but also for web visitors and search engines. Internal linking enables users to access more content and helps search bots index pages faster.

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

Use internal content links to improve site usability and create a better user experience.

(Use content links to improve website navigation and user experience.)

One of the main purposes of a website is to provide users with the information they are looking for. By providing users with easy access to other areas of your site containing 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 can easily result in more sales.

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 about page.

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

Use internal content links to improve your SEO results.

(Use internal content links to improve SEO results.)

Adding internal links improves your search rankings. By creating internal links to content on other pages and posts on your site, you are helping search indexing bots crawl pages faster and more thoroughly than sites that contain only standalone pages. This can result in more web traffic to your website.

One of the more effective ways of improving your search engine optimization is by combining internal linking 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 products, you could hyperlink the keywords “green wedding gift ideas” from a post offering various tips and ideas on where to find unusual wedding gifts to another blog post on your website about wedding gift registries. This will help search engines get a better understanding of what your web pages are all about.

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

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

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

Benefit Of Using Internal Content Linking #3 – Increase Visibility & Exposure For Your Content

Use internal links to increase visibility & exposure for your content.

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

As you continue adding new content to your site, your posts will become older and get pushed further down the chronological table. This can lead to many of your posts becoming less popular.

If there is older but important content on your site that is not getting as much exposure as you would like, add 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 your site 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!

Creating Internal Linking Using The WordPress Link Tool

In WP 3.1, a linking tool was introduced that lets you easily link content inside posts and pages to other posts and pages. This feature was updated in WordPress 4.5 to include an inline linking editor.

Prior to this feature, if you wanted to control your internal linking strategy, you would have to manually search your site for the page to link to, then copy its URL and manually link to it in your content. Now, adding internal links to posts and pages in WordPress is very simple.

Here’s how to do it …

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

Next, find and highlight the keywords you want to turn into a hyperlink.

When you have selected and highlighted the content, click on the insert/edit link button in the WordPress WYSIWYG editor menu (< this is an internal link!) …

WordPress WYSIWYG editor - link tool

(WordPress WYSIWYG editor – content link feature)

Info

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

The link tool can also be accessed in the 'Text' tab of the WordPress content

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

The Inline Linking tool will display below the selection …

WordPress Inline Linking

(WordPress Inline Linking)

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

Enter a search term to view related posts and pages

(Type in a search term to view related content)

Click the ’Return’ (Apply) icon to add the link …

WordPress Inline Linking tool - Apply button

(Inline Linking – Apply button)

Your link has now been created …

Link inserted into content

(Hyperlink added to content)

You can also use the advanced linking editor by clicking on the ‘Link Options’ icon …

Inline Linking - 'Link Options' button

(Inline Linking – ’Link Options’)

This brings up the Insert/edit link window …

Advanced link options

(Internal content link editor)

By default, you will see two sections:

Enter the destination URL

Paste in the URL of your target destination, add the Link Text to display with the link and select whether to open your link in a new window …

WordPress Insert/edit link tool

(WordPress Insert/edit link editor)

Or link to existing content

This feature allows you to insert internal links. Start typing a word or keyword phrase related to the page or post you want to hyperlink in the Search box. WordPress will automatically retrieve pages and posts containing those words …

Enter the search term to see related posts and pages

(Type in the search term to display related posts and pages)

Select the title of the post or page you would like to link to, and the URL of your selected item will automatically be inserted into the destination URL field …

Select the page or post to link to in your content

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

Notice that the tool indicates which content items are pages and which are posts …

Link to pages or posts

(Link to posts or pages)

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

Add internal links to custom post types in addition to standard pages or posts

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

If you want the link to open in a new browser 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 to open your link in a new window

(Tick the box to open your link in a new window)

Note that the ability to open linked content 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 …

Internal content 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 fix your 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:

How To Detect And Repair Broken Links In WordPress

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

You can format your hyperlinks if you want to catch your readers' attention

(Format links if you want readers to notice them)

How To Remove 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 cover 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’ feature on the editor menu as shown below

Removing links is easy ... just click a button!

(Removing hyperlinks is easy … just click a button!)

Your hyperlink will be removed …

Plain text ... all links removed!

(Hyperlinks deleted!)

WordPress Plugins For Creating Internal Content Links

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

Are there WordPress plugins that can do this task?

Yes, there are! As we explain here, there are plugins that can do almost everything imaginable. And if you can’t find a plugin that does what you want, one can be created for you.

Also, depending on the type of WordPress theme used on your site, you can get additional SEO benefits from internal linking features such as:

  • Breadcrumbs
  • Related posts
  • Internal linking through widgets

In another article, we’ll discuss additional methods of linking content in WordPress, look at the benefits and challenges of automating links in WordPress, and look at various plugins you can look at for creating internal links automatically on your website:

Internal linking structures for SEO

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

Congratulations … now you know how easy it is to 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!

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