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How To Use The WordPress Internal Linking Tool

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

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

(WordPress Internal Hyperlinking Function)

Internal Hyperlinks – Benefits

Internal links are simply links added to your content to other sections of your website or blog.

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 content linking)

Adding internal links to other posts has many benefits, not only for you as the website owner but also for your visitors and search engines. Internal content links allow visitors to view more content. This also helps search engine robots better index your web site. Sites like Wikipedia use internal links extensively for attracting visitors.

Benefits Of Content Linking #1 – Improve Site Usability And Create A Better User Experience

(Use internal content linking to improve website navigation and create a better user experience.)

The main purpose of a website is to provide visitors with the relevant information that they are looking for. Offering users easier access to other parts of your site containing more of the content they want to see not only improves the quality of your site, but also your website’s user 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, leads, or subscribers.

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

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

(Use internal content linking to site’s search rankings.)

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

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

For example, if you provide travel-related information or advice, you could hyperlink the phrase “romantic cruises” from an article listing different kinds of vacations to another section of your website about wedding destinations.

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

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

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

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

Over time, as you continue adding new content to your WordPress site, your blog posts will become older and get pushed further down the chronological table. This can lead to many of your posts losing popularity.

If there is content on older posts that is not getting as much exposure as you would like, you can place internal links within the content of some of your more popular posts 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 you have being seen by visitors and being indexed by search engines, the more visibility and exposure your business receives online … which can lead to better results!

Creating Internal Links Using The WordPress Advanced Linking Editor

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

Prior to the introduction of this advanced 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 paste and add a link to it in your content. Now, adding links to posts and pages is very simple.

Here’s how to do it …

Log into your WordPress backend, and locate and open the post or page you would like to add links into.

Next, highlight the keyword phrase you would like to add a link to.

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

(WordPress WYSIWYG editor – content link tool)

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

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

The Inline Linking editor appears below your selection …

(WordPress Inline Linking)

Paste in your link URL or type in a search term to view related posts and pages …

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

Click the ‘Apply’ icon to insert your link …

(WordPress Inline Linking editor – Apply button)

Your link has now been inserted into the content …

(Hyperlink added to content)

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

(WordPress Inline Linking editor – ’Link Options’)

This brings up the Insert/edit link window …

(Internal content linking editor)

You will see two sections:

Enter the destination URL

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

(Insert/edit link tool)

Or link to existing content

This feature lets you create internal links to your content. Type a word or keyword phrase related to the page you want to hyperlink in the Search field. WordPress will automatically begin looking for posts and pages containing those words …

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

Select the post or page you want to link to, and the URL of the selected item automatically gets added to the URL field …

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

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

(Link to posts or pages)

But you are not just limited to standard posts or pages. You can also link to custom post types like products, categories, etc. …

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

If you want the link to open in a new window, then select the Open link in a new window/tab box and click the Add Link button

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

Note that the ability to open links in a new window or tab 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 your content …

(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 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

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

(Format your links if you want to make them more noticeable)

Removing Content Links

No tutorial on adding links to WordPress content is complete without showing you how to remove any links that you no longer want, so let’s cover this 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 bar or the ‘Remove link’ tool on the content editor menu as shown below

(Removing both internal and external hyperlinks is easy … WordPress even gives you different choices!)

Your link will be removed …

(Hyperlinks be gone!)

WordPress Plugins For Linking Content Internally

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

Are there any WordPress plugins that can perform this task?

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

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

In another article, we’ll discuss additional methods of linking content in WordPress, look at the pros and cons of automating links in WordPress, and look at various WordPress plugins that can help you create internal links automatically in your content:

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

Congratulations! Now you know how easy it is to link content in WordPress.

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