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 Posts And Pages 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 website built with WordPress provides built-in content linking functions, such as custom menus, permalinks, text links, archives, categories, and tags pages, search results pages, link widgets, sidebar widgets (e.g. Latest Posts), entries RSS, a default link tool, post excerpt links, etc. Additional linking features can also be added to WordPress via plugins. In short, WordPress is perfect for linking content both internally and externally.

In this step-by-step tutorial, you will discover the benefits of internal linking and how to add internal links to WordPress using the internal content linking tool.

WordPress Internal Content Linking Function

(The WordPress Internal Content Linking Function)

Benefits Of Content Links

Internal linking simply means adding links in your content pointing to other sections of your WordPress site.

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 uses extensive internal content linking extensively)

Inserting content links into pages and posts provides several benefits, not only for you as the website owner but also for your visitors and search engines. Internal content links allow users to view more content. This also ensures that search engine robots can index your site faster. Websites like Wikipedia use internal linking strategies extensively for driving traffic.

Benefits Of Internal Content Links #1 – Improve Site Navigation And Create A Better User Experience

Use content links to improve site navigation and user experience.

(Use internal linking to improve your website usability and create a better user experience.)

The main purpose of a website is to provide users with the relevant content that they are searching for. Offering users easier access to other sections of your site containing more of the content they want to see not only makes your site easier to use and navigate, it also creates a better experience for your site’s users.

Creating a better user experience means that visitors stay longer on your site and visit more of your web pages. In a well-planned website, this can easily lead to more sales conversions.

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

Benefits Of Using Internal Linking #2 – Improve Your Website’s SEO Results

Use content linking to site's search rankings.

(Use internal linking to improve your website’s search engine optimization (SEO).)

Internal content linking also improves your search results. Linking to other posts or pages on your site helps search engine bots crawl your site faster and more easily than if your site includes only standalone pages and posts. This can drive more organic search traffic to your website or blog.

One of the most effective ways of improving your search engine optimization is to combine internal linking with relevant keywords. This can easily be achieved by adding link titles to hyperlinks (called anchor text links).

For example, if you provide travel-related services, you could link the phrase “romantic cruises” from an article about different kinds of vacations to another section of your website listing wedding destinations. This helps search engines gain a better understanding of what your pages are all about.

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

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

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

Benefits Of Using Internal Content Links #3 – Increased Content Visibility & Exposure

Use internal links to increase content visibility and exposure.

(Use content linking to get more visibility and exposure for your content.)

In WordPress, as you continue adding content, older posts get pushed further down the chronological table. This can cause many posts to lose popularity.

If there is older but useful content on your site that you would like more visitors to access, 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 your site visitors and search engines.

The more content visitors can see and search engines can access, the more visibility and exposure your business receives online … and this can lead to better results!

Creating Internal Linking In Your Posts And Pages Using The Inline Linking Tool

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

Prior to the introduction of this feature, if you wanted control over your internal linking strategy, you would have to manually look 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, adding links to posts and pages in WordPress is very simple.

Here’s how to do it …

First, log into your WordPress site, find and open the post or page you would like to add links to.

Next, highlight the keywords you want to add a hyperlink to.

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

WordPress WYSIWYG editor - link tool

(WordPress WYSIWYG editor – content linking tool)

Important Info

If you find yourself In the ‘Text’ tab of the WordPress content, 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 link feature can also be accessed in the ‘Text’ tab of the WordPress content editor)

The Inline Linking editor will display below your selection …

WordPress Inline Linking Editor

(Inline Linking)

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

Type in a search term to find related pages and posts

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

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

WordPress Inline Linking - Apply button

(Inline Linking editor – Apply button)

Your link is now added …

Link inserted into content

(Hyperlink added to content)

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

Inline Linking - 'Link Options'

(Inline Linking – ’Link Options’)

This brings up the Insert/edit link window …

Advanced content link feature

(Internal content link options)

You will see two sections:

Enter the destination URL

Paste in your target destination URL, type in the anchor text to display with the link and choose whether to open your link in a new window …

Insert/edit link tool

(Insert/edit link editor)

Or link to existing content

This function allows you to add internal links. Enter a word or keyword phrase related to the page or post you want to hyperlink into the Search field. WordPress will automatically retrieve content items containing those words …

Enter the search term to view related pages and posts

(Type in the search term to see related content)

Click the page or post you want to link to, and the URL of the selected item automatically gets inserted into the URL section …

Select the page or post to link your content to

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

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

Link to posts or pages

(Link to posts or pages)

But you are not limited to default pages or posts. You can also link to custom WordPress post types like products, image galleries, etc. …

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

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

If you want the linked content to open in a new browser window, then select 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

(Tick 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 …

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

(Open internal and external links in new windows – even external links pointing to content about internal links!)

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

Internal content link

(Internal content link)

WordPress Automatically Detects Broken Links

From WP 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 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:

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

Format hyperlinks if you want to catch your readers' attention

(Format your links if you want users to notice them)

How To Delete Content Links

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

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

Removing links is easy ... you even get choices!

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

Your link will be removed …

Non-clickable content ... all links removed!

(Hyperlinks removed!)

Internal Linking Plugins

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

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

Yes, there are! As we explain in this article, there are WordPress plugins for everything you can imagine. And if you cannot find a plugin that does what you want, one can be created for you.

Also, depending on the kind of WordPress theme installed on your website or blog, you can benefit from additional internal linking features such as:

  • Breadcrumb links
  • Related posts
  • Linking through widgets

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

SEO internal linking

(SEO internal linking structures. 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 owner of WPCompendium.org and the author of The WordPress User Manual. WPCompendium.org provides hundreds of FREE tutorials that show you how to use WordPress to grow your business online with no coding skills required! Get our FREE "101+ WordPress Tips, Tricks & Hacks For Non-Techies" e-course with loads of useful WordPress tips!

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