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 WordPress Inline Linking FeatureLinking to other posts in your WordPress website or domain is called internal linking.

A WordPress website comes with built-in internal linking features, such as menus, permalinks, image links, tags, archives, and categories pages, site search pages, link widgets, sidebar widgets (e.g. Latest Posts), comments RSS, an internal link tool, post excerpt links, etc. Additional link features can also be added to WordPress using a range of plugins. In short, WordPress is an ideal platform for linking content both internally and externally.

Linking to other posts and pages in your WordPress website or domain has many SEO benefits. This tutorial explains how to add internal links to WordPress using the advanced content link tool.

WordPress Internal Hyperlink Function

(The WordPress Internal Content Linking Feature)

Internal Content Linking Benefits

Internal linking simply means adding links in your content pointing to relevant content on posts and pages on your website or blog.

Or, as explained 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's pages provide loads of examples of internal linking

(Wikipedia uses extensive internal content linking extensively)

Adding internal content links to other pages has many benefits, not only for website owners, but also for visitors and search engines. Internal links enable users to view more content and helps search engine spiders index pages faster.

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

Use internal linking to improve your website navigation and create a better user experience.

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

Websites are supposed to provide visitors with relevant information. By offering users easy access to other sections of your website containing more of the content they want to see, you not only improve the usability of your website, but also your user’s experience.

Creating a better experience for users means that visitors stay longer on your site and visit more of your web pages. If you plan your marketing strategy well, this can easily result in more sales conversions.

Make sure that the content you are linking together is relevant for users. For example, you may want to add links on your company page to your about page.

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

Use internal content linking to site's search results.

(Use internal content linking to improve your website’s SEO results.)

Adding links in your content also improves your search rankings. Linking to other posts and pages on your site helps search engine indexing spiders crawl sites faster and more thoroughly than sites that include only standalone pages and posts. This can result in more web traffic to your website.

An effective way of improving search engine optimization is by combining internal links with keyword relevancy. This can easily be achieved by adding link titles to hyperlinks (these are called anchor text links).

For example, if your website provides wedding-related services, you could create a post listing unusual gifts for weddings and link the key phrase “green wedding gift ideas” to another section of your website containing a wedding gift registry directory.

Using keyword-relevant text links is effective for both 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 titles, body text, image captions, etc.

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

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

Use internal links to increase content visibility & exposure.

(Use content links to increase content visibility and exposure.)

In WordPress, as you continue adding new content to your site, your blog posts will become older and get pushed further down the chronological table. This can cause posts to lose popularity.

If you have important content on older posts or pages 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 accessed by search engines means more visibility and exposure for your business online … which can lead to better results!

Creating Internal Linking Using The WordPress Link Editor

A linking feature was introduced in WordPress 3.1 that allows you to quickly and easily link content in your posts to other posts and pages on your site. This feature was improved in WP 4.5 to include an inline linking tool.

Prior to this advanced 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 link to it in your content. Now, adding internal links to WordPress is very simple.

Here’s how you do it …

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

Next, find and highlight the text you would like to transform into a hyperlink.

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

WordPress visual content editor menu - link tool

(WordPress WYSIWYG editor menu – content link feature)


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

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

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

The Inline Linking editor appears below your selection …

WordPress Inline Linking

(WordPress Inline Linking Editor)

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

Enter a search term to view related posts and pages

(Type in a search term to find related content)

Click the ’Return’ button to insert your link …

Inline Linking - Apply button

(Inline Linking – Apply button)

Your link has now been created …

Hyperlink added to content

(Hyperlink added to content)

You can also access the advanced linking tool by clicking on the gear icon …

Inline Linking tool - 'Link Options'

(Inline Linking – ‘Link Options’ button)

This brings up the Insert/edit link window …

Internal content link tool

(Advanced link tool)

By default, you will see two sections:

Enter the destination URL

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

Insert/edit link editor

(WordPress Insert/edit link tool)

Or link to existing content

This feature lets you add internal links. Begin typing a word or keyword related to the post or page you want to hyperlink into the Search box. WordPress automatically begins looking for related posts and pages containing those words …

Enter the search term to display related posts and pages

(Type in the search term to see related content)

Click on the title of post or page you would like to link to, and the URL of your selected item automatically gets added to the fields in the destination URL section …

Select the page or post to link your content to

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

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

Link to pages or posts

(Link to posts or pages)

But you are not just limited to regular posts or pages. You can also link to custom post types (these are post types created to display information in a specific way), like products, portfolios, etc. …

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

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

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

(Check the box and your link will open in a new window)

Note that the ability to open linked content in a new window can be used in 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 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

(Internal content link)

WordPress Automatically Detects Broken Links

From 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)

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. you can italicize your link, make it bold, change the link color, etc …) using the format buttons in your WordPress visual content editor menu (< there’s that internal link again! :)) …

Format links if you want readers to notice them

(Format links if you want readers to notice them)

How To Delete Content Links

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

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

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

(Deleting links is easy … you even get choices!)

Your link will be removed …

Links is gone!

(Hyperlinks deleted!)

WordPress Plugins For Linking Content Automatically

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

Are there WordPress plugins that can do this work?

Yes … Of course! As we explain in this article, there are WordPress plugins for just about 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 type of plugins and themes installed on your website, you can benefit from additional internal linking features such as:

  • Breadcrumb website navigation
  • Related posts
  • Linking using 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 internal linking automatically on your website:

Internal linking for SEO

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

Congratulations … now you know how to easily create internal links to content in WordPress.


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