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How To Use The WordPress Internal Linking Tool

According 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.”

WordPress provides great built-in content linking functions, such as menus, permalinks, text links, tags, archives, and categories pages, search results pages, link widgets, sidebar widgets (e.g. Recent Posts), entries RSS, an internal link tool, read more tags, etc. Additional linking functionality can also be added to WordPress using a range of plugins. In short, WordPress is an ideal platform for creating extensive content linking.

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

(WordPress Internal Hyperlinking Feature)

Benefits Of Content Linking

Internal content linking simply means adding hyperlinks in your content to other 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’s pages provide great examples of internal linking)

Adding links to other posts provides several benefits, not only for the website owner, but also for web visitors and search engines. Internal linking enables users to view more content and ensures that search bots can better index web pages.

Benefit Of Using Internal Content Links #1 – Improve Your Website Usability And Create A Better User Experience

(Use internal 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 information. Providing users with easy access to other areas of your site that contain more of the content they want to see not only makes your website easier to use and navigate, but also your user’s experience.

Improving the quality of the user experience means that visitors stay longer on your site and visit more of your web pages. In a well-thought-out sales process, this will lead to improved sales results.

It’s important to make sure that the information you are actually linking together is relevant for users. For example, it makes sense to link your home page to your about us page.

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

(Use content linking to improve your website’s search rankings.)

Adding links in your content improves your search results. By creating internal links to content on other pages and posts on your website, you are helping search engine indexing spiders crawl pages more easily, faster and more thoroughly than sites comprised only of of standalone pages. This can result in more traffic to your website or blog.

One of the most effective ways of improving SEO is to combine internal linking with keyword relevancy. This can be easily achieved by adding keywords as titles to link URLs (called anchor text links).

For example, if your business provides wedding-related information or advice, you could link the key phrase “green wedding gift ideas” from an article describing unusual wedding gifts to another section of your website containing a wedding gift registry directory. This will help search engines get a better understanding of what the content on your web pages are all about.

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

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

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

(Use internal content linking to increase content visibility and exposure.)

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

If there is old but useful content on your site that you would like more visitors to read, insert internal links within the content of some 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 online … which can lead to better results!

How To Create Internal Linking Using The WordPress Advanced Link Feature

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

Prior to 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 link to it in your content. Now, adding internal linking to WordPress is really simple.

Here’s how you do it …

Log into your WordPress admin, find and open the post or page you would like to create links in.

Next, find and highlight the words you would like to add a link to.

Once you have selected and highlighted the text, click on the hyperlink feature in the WordPress visual content editor menu (< this is an internal link!) …

(WordPress visual content editor – content link feature)

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

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

The Inline Linking tool will display below the selection …

(Inline Linking)

Paste in your target destination URL or type a word or keyword phrase related to the text you want to hyperlink in the box to find related posts and pages …

(Type in a search term to bring up related content)

Click the ‘Apply’ button to insert your link …

(WordPress Inline Linking – Apply button)

Your link is now inserted …

(Hyperlink added to content)

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

(Inline Linking – ‘Link Options’ button)

This brings up the Insert/edit link window …

(Internal content linking options)

By default, you will see two sections:

Enter the destination URL

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

(Insert/edit link tool)

Or link to existing content

This is the linking feature that allows you to insert internal links. Enter a word or keyword related to the text you want to hyperlink into the Search box. WordPress will automatically display posts and pages containing those words …

(Enter the search term to begin finding related pages and posts)

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

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

Notice that the feature brings up both posts and pages …

(Link to posts or pages)

You are not limited to standard pages or posts. If you use custom post types on your site (e.g. products, categories, etc.), you can also link to these …

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

If you would like 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)

Note that the ability to open linked content in a new window can be used for both internal and external links …

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

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

(An internal link … sublime and beautiful!)

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 fix your link before publishing it to your site. …

(WordPress automatically detects broken links. Source: WordPress 4.6 Features)

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:

Link boundaries create a ‘shield’ around the link to help streamline the link editing process …

(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, change the link color, etc …) using the format buttons in your WordPress visual editor menu (< there’s that internal link again! :)) …

(You can format your hyperlinks if you want to catch your visitors’ attention)

How To Delete Content Links

No tutorial on adding content links is complete without showing you how to remove any links that you no longer want, so let’s cover this right now.

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

(Removing both internal and external links is easy … you even get choices!)

Your link will be removed …

(Plain text … all links removed!)

Plugins For Linking Content Internally

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

Are there WordPress plugins that can perform this work?

Yes … Of course! As we explain here, there are plugins for everything you can imagine. 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 WordPress theme used on your website or blog, you can benefit from additional internal linking features such as:

In a separate article, we’ll discuss additional ways to link content in WordPress, examine the pros and cons of automating links in WordPress, and look at several plugins you can check out for creating links automatically on your website:

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

Congratulations … now you know how to easily link content internally in WordPress.

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