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.”
A WordPress blog provides built-in content linking features, such as menus, permalinks, text links, tags, categories, and archives pages, site search pages, link widgets, sidebar widgets (e.g. Recent Posts), an internal link tool, post excerpt links, etc. Additional link features can also be added to WordPress using plugins. In short, WordPress is perfect for linking content both internally and externally.
This tutorial explains the benefits of internal linking and how to add internal links to WordPress using the advanced linking feature.
(The WordPress Internal Content Linking Feature)
Internal Content Links – Benefits
Internal content links are simply links added to your content to other posts and pages on your WordPress site.
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 uses extensive internal content linking extensively)
Adding links to web pages and posts provides many benefits, not only for the website owner, but also for visitors and search engines. Internal content linking enables users to access more content and helps search robots index pages faster.
Benefits Of Using Internal Links #1 – Improve Site Usability And Create A Better User Experience
(Use internal links to improve your website usability and create a better user experience.)
Websites are supposed to provide users with relevant information. By providing users with easier access to other parts of your site that contain more of the content they are searching for, you not only improve the quality of your site, you also create a better experience for your site’s users.
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-planned website, this can easily lead to more sales or sales inquiries.
Make sure that the information you are linking together is relevant for your users. For example, you may want to link your company page to your about us page.
Benefit Of Using Internal Content Links #2 – Improve Your SEO
(Use internal content linking to improve search engine optimization (SEO).)
Adding internal content links improves your search rankings. Linking to content on other posts and pages on your website helps search indexing bots crawl your web pages faster and more easily than if your site was comprised only of standalone pages and posts. This can drive more web traffic to your site.
An effective way of improving search engine optimization is to combine internal linking with relevant keywords. This can be easily achieved by adding keyword terms to link URLs (called anchor text links).
For example, if your website provides wedding-related information or advice, you could link the phrase “eco wedding gift ideas” from a post describing unusual wedding gifts to another section of your website containing a wedding gift registry directory. This helps search engines get a better understanding of what your site is all about.
Using keyword-relevant text links is effective for both visitors and search engines. You can use keyword-relevant text links on content titles, body text, image captions, and so on.
(Add anchor text links to content titles, body text, image captions, etc.)
Benefit Of Using Internal Content Linking #3 – Increase Visibility & Exposure For Your Content
(Use internal content links to increase visibility & exposure for your content.)
Over time, as you continue adding content to WordPress, your entries will get older and get pushed down the chronology. This can lead to posts becoming less popular.
If you have older but useful content on your site that you would like more visitors to see, consider inserting 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 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 gets online … and this can lead to better results!
Creating Internal Linking Using The Inline Link Tool
A linking function was introduced in WordPress v. 3.1 that lets you link content inside pages and posts to other posts and pages. This feature was upgraded in WordPress version 4.5 to include an inline link editor.
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 to link to, then copy its URL and manually link to it in your content. Now, performing internal linking in WordPress is quite simple.
Here’s how to do it …
Log into your WordPress backend, find and open the post or page you would like to create internal links in.
Next, find and highlight the keywords you would like to transform into a hyperlink.
After selecting and highlighting the content, click on the insert/edit link feature in the WordPress visual editor menu (< this is an internal link!) …
(WordPress WYSIWYG editor menu – content linking feature)
If you find yourself In the ‘Text’ tab of the WordPress content, select the ‘link’ button to access the link feature …
(The linking tool can also be accessed in the ‘Text’ tab of the WordPress editor)
The Inline Linking tool appears below the highlighted words …
Paste in your link URL or start typing a word or keyword related to the post you want to hyperlink in the box to view related posts and pages …
(Enter a search term to bring up related content)
Click the ‘Return’ (Apply) icon to insert your link …
(WordPress Inline Linking editor – Apply button)
Your link is now added to the content …
(Link added to content)
You can access the advanced linking tool by clicking on the gear icon …
(Inline Linking editor – ‘Link Options’)
This brings up the Insert/edit link window …
(Advanced content linking editor)
You will see two sections:
Enter the destination URL
Paste in the URL of your target destination, 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 …
(WordPress Insert/edit link editor)
Or link to existing content
This linking feature allows you to insert internal links into your content. Start typing a word or keyword related to the page you want to hyperlink in the Search box. WordPress will automatically retrieve pages and posts containing those words …
(Enter the search term to display related content)
Click on the title of post or page you would like to link to, and the URL of the selected item automatically gets inserted into the URL field …
(Click on the post or page you would like 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)
You are not limited to default posts or pages. If you use custom post types on your site, you can also create internal links to these …
(Link content in WordPress to custom WordPress post types in addition to posts or pages)
If you would like 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 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 new windows – even external links pointing to content about internal links!)
Congratulations … you have created an internal link to your content …
(Voila … an internal link!)
Internal Link Options
If you want, you can also format your internal links (e.g. you can italicize your link, make it bold, add 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)
How To Remove Links To Content
No tutorial on adding links to WordPress content would feel complete without showing you how to delete any 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’ button on the content editor menu as shown below
(Deleting both internal and external hyperlinks is easy … you even get choices!)
Your hyperlink will be removed …
Plugins For Linking Content Internally
So far, we have looked at how to create links to content in WordPress manually using the inline link tool.
Are there any WordPress plugins that can perform this task?
Yes, there are! As we explain in this article, there are WordPress plugins that can do almost everything imaginable. 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 used on your website, you can benefit from additional internal linking features such as:
- Breadcrumb links
- Related posts
- Linking through sidebar and footer widgets
In another 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 WordPress plugins you can check out for creating internal links automatically.
(SEO internal linking structures. Screenshot image source: No Sweat WP Internal Links Lite plugin)
Congratulations … now you know how easy it is to add links to content in your WordPress posts and pages.