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How To Use The WordPress Internal Linking Tool

According 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.”

WordPress provides built-in content linking functions, such as custom menus, permalinks, image links, categories, archives, and tags pages, site search pages, link widgets, sidebar widgets (e.g. Latest Posts), entries RSS, an internal linking tool, post excerpt links, etc. Additional linking features can also be added to WordPress using a range of plugins. In short, WordPress is an ideal platform for adding extensive content linking.

Linking to other content helps your readers discover more of your content and improves your site’s SEO. This tutorial explains how to add internal links to WordPress using the advanced linking tool.

(WordPress Internal Content Linking Function)

Benefits Of Internal Links

Internal links are simply hyperlinks in your content to relevant content on your WordPress site.

Or, as explained by 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 great examples of internal linking)

Adding content links to other pages has several benefits, not only for website owners, but also for visitors and search engines. Internal linking enables users to view more content and helps search spiders index site faster.

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

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

Web pages are supposed to provide visitors with the content that they are looking for. By offering users easier access to other areas of your website containing more of the content they are looking for, you not only improve the quality of your site, but also your user’s experience.

Creating a better user experience means that visitors stay longer on your site and visit more pages. In a well-thought-out sales funnel, this can easily result in more sales or sales enquiries.

Make sure that the content you are linking together is relevant for users. For example, it makes sense to add links on your home page to your about us page.

Benefit Of Content Linking #2 – Site’s Search Rankings

(Use internal linking to improve search rankings.)

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

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

For example, if your business provides travel-related services or advice, you could link the phrase “romantic cruises” from an article about different types of cruises to another section of your website listing wedding destinations.

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

(Use keyword-relevant text links on titles, body text, image captions, etc.)

Benefit Of Content Linking #3 – Increased Content Visibility And Exposure

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

Over time, as you continue adding content to your WordPress site, your post entries will become older and get pushed down the chronological table. This can cause your posts to become less popular and attract less visitors.

If there is content on older posts or pages that is not getting as much exposure as you would like, place 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 … and this can lead to better results!

Using The WordPress Hyperlinking Tool

In WordPress v. 3.1, an internal linking function was introduced that lets you link content inside posts and pages to other posts and pages. This feature was improved 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 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 WordPress pages and posts is very simple.

Here’s how to do it …

First, log into your WordPress admin area, find and open the post or page you want to add links to.

Next, find and highlight the word or content you want to turn into a link.

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

(WordPress WYSIWYG editor – content link feature)

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

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

The Inline Linking editor appears below the selection …

(Inline Linking)

Paste in your link URL or type a word or keyword phrase related to the title of the post you want to hyperlink in the box to find related posts and pages …

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

Click the ’Return’ button to insert the link …

(Inline Linking editor – Apply button)

Your link will be created …

(Link added to content)

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

(WordPress Inline Linking – ’Link Options’)

This brings up the Insert/edit link window …

(Advanced link editor)

This tool is divided into two sections:

Enter the destination URL

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

(WordPress Insert/edit link editor)

Or link to existing content

This is the feature that lets you insert internal links. Start typing a word or keyword related to the title of the page or post you want to hyperlink in the Search box. WordPress automatically begins looking for posts and pages containing those words …

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

Click the page or post you would like to link to, and the item’s URL automatically gets added to the URL section …

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

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

(Link to posts or pages)

But you are not limited to regular pages or posts. If you use custom post types on your website or blog (custom post types are post types created to display information in a specific way, e.g. products, testimonials, etc.), you can also create internal links to these …

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

If you would like to open your linked content in a new 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)

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

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

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

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

(Format hyperlinks if you want users to notice them)

Removing Content Links

No tutorial on adding links to content would feel complete without showing you how to delete links that you no longer want, so let’s take care of 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 WordPress content editor menu as shown below

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

Your link will be removed …

(Plain text … all links removed!)

Internal Linking Plugins

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

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

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

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

In another article, we’ll discuss additional ways to link content in WordPress, examine the benefits and challenges of automating links in WordPress, and look at a number of WordPress plugins that can help you create links automatically in your content:

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

Congratulations … now you know how easy it is to create internal links to content in WordPress.


"These tutorials have so much information and are easy to understand. If you use WordPress or plan to in the future these will help you with everything you need to know." - Valisa (Mesa, Arizona)

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