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How To Use The WordPress Internal Linking Tool

Internal links connect content in different pages on your own website or domain.

A website built with WordPress comes with great built-in internal linking features, such as menus, permalinks, text links, archives, categories, and tags pages, site search pages, link widgets, sidebar widgets (e.g. Latest Posts), entries RSS feeds, an internal linking tool, continue reading tags, etc. Additional linking functionality can also be added to WordPress via plugins. In short, WordPress is perfect for linking content both internally and externally.

In this tutorial, you will learn about the benefits of internal linking, and how to easily link content using the WordPress built-in link tool.

(The WordPress Built-In Hyperlinking Tool)

Internal Linking – Benefits

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

As Wikipedia explains it …

“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 content linking)

Inserting internal content links into posts and pages provides many benefits, not only for the website owner, but also for visitors and search engines. Internal content links allow visitors to access more content and helps search robots index web pages faster.

Benefits Of Using Internal Linking #1 – Improve Your Site Usability And Create A Better User Experience

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

Websites are supposed to provide visitors with the relevant information that they are looking for. Providing users with easier access to other areas of your website that contain more of the content they want to see not only makes your website easier to use and navigate, it also creates a better experience for your visitors.

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 also lead to better sales results.

Make sure that what you are linking together is relevant for your users. For example, you may want to link your home page to your contact details page.

Benefit Of Content Links #2 – Site’s SEO

(Use internal linking to improve SEO results.)

Adding internal links also improves your SEO results. Linking to content on other posts and pages on your website helps search engine indexing robots crawl sites more easily, faster and more thoroughly than sites that contain only standalone pages. This can result in more web traffic to your website or blog.

An effective way to improve search engine optimization is by combining internal linking with keyword relevancy. This is easily achieved by adding link titles to link URLs (these are called anchor text links).

For example, if you provide wedding-related information or advice, you could hyperlink the key phrase “eco wedding gift ideas” from a post on unusual gifts for weddings to another blog post on your site about wedding gift registries.

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

(Use anchor text links on content titles, body text, image captions, etc.)

Benefit Of Internal Links #3 – Increased Content Visibility & Exposure

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

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

If you have older content on your site that is not getting as much exposure as you would like, add 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.

Having more of your content being seen by visitors and indexed by search engines means more visibility and exposure for your business … which can lead to better results!

How To Use The Advanced Content Hyperlink Editor In WordPress

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

Prior to this feature, if you wanted to control your internal linking strategy, you would have to manually search your site for the page you wanted to link to, then copy its URL and manually paste and add a link to it in your content. Now, performing internal linking operations inside content in WordPress is quite simple.

Here’s how you do it …

Log into your WordPress backend, then locate and open the post or page you want to add internal links to.

Next, find and highlight the word or sentence you would like to create as a link.

After you have selected and highlighted the content, click on the hyperlinking icon in the WordPress visual content editor menu (< here’s an internal link!) …

(WordPress visual content editor menu – content linking feature)

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

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

The Inline Linking editor will display below the highlighted phrase …

(WordPress Inline Linking)

Paste in the URL of your target destination or type in a search term to bring up related pages and posts …

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

Click the ‘Apply’ button to add the link …

(Inline Linking tool – Apply button)

Your link is now inserted …

(Hyperlink added to content)

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

(Inline Linking editor – ’Link Options’)

This brings up the Insert/edit link window …

(Advanced content link tool)

This window is divided into two sections:

Enter the destination URL

Paste in your target destination URL, type in the anchor 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 …

(WordPress Insert/edit link tool)

Or link to existing content

This is the linking tool that lets you create internal links. Start typing a word or keyword phrase related to the post you want to hyperlink into the Search box. WordPress automatically begins searching for posts and pages containing those words …

(Type in the search term to view related content)

Click on the page or post you want to link to, and the item’s URL will automatically be added to the fields in the destination URL field …

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

Notice that the tool brings up both pages and posts …

(Link to posts or pages)

But you are not limited to posts or pages. If you use custom post types on your website (e.g. products, image galleries, etc.), you can also link to these …

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

If you would like the linked content to open in a new window, select the Open link in a new window/tab box and click the Add Link button

(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 …

(You can open external and internal 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 pages or posts …

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

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

How To Remove Content Links

No tutorial on adding links to WordPress content would be complete without showing you how to delete any links that you no longer want, so let’s cover this topic right now.

To delete a link from your pages or posts, 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 editor menu as shown below

(Deleting both internal and external links is easy … just click a button!)

Your link will be removed …

(Plain content … all links removed!)

Internal Linking Plugins for WordPress

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

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

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

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

In a separate article, we’ll discuss additional content linking strategies in WordPress, look at the benefits and challenges of automating content links in WordPress, and look at various plugins you can check out for creating links automatically in your content:

(SEO internal linking. Image source: No Sweat WP Internal Links Lite plugin)

Congratulations … now you know how easy it is to link content in WordPress.

***

"Wow! I never knew there's so much to learn about WordPress! I bought one of the WordPress for Dummies three years ago, such authors need to be on this course!" - Rich Law, Create A Blog Now

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