The Internet is a network based on links. Inserting hyperlink in a post or page is not complicated as you will see from the text presented here.
In general we can speak about:
The meaning of the term internal link should be obvious: those are hyperlinks between different pages/posts within a site. So they connect one URL with another. They are useful for visitors of your post/page because they allow them to easily navigate through your site. They tell visitors (and to Google bots as well) that there is more on the same or similar subject in your site.
An external link (or outbound link) can point to any source outside of your website, such as an affiliate link or any other source.
An anchor link allows you to jump:
- To certain phrase, section or paragraph within the same post or page.
- To certain phrase, section or paragraph in another post or page within your site. So in this case it is yet another kind of internal link.
- To certain phrase, section or paragraph in a page/post in your another website. In this case it acts as a specific external link.
In the case 1., the anchor link can be very helpful in particular if the text is a bit longer. Very often in texts you will see phrases like ‘see below in the text’, or ‘as mentioned above’ etc. This is not so convenient for a reader who must search for the actual position of such texts ‘below’ or ‘above’. It is much more efficient to make these phrases ‘below’ or ‘above’ clickable, which will then lead the reader exactly to the spot.
You have already seen examples of anchor links of the type 1., those are the links in the list above. Yet another example for the case 1. is the line “GO TO THE TOP” which you will see at the end of this page, and when you click on it, you will jump back to the top of this text.
In the case 2., you direct the reader to some particular paragraph, section, or phrase within a different post or page. This can be convenient and I shall demonstrate it below.
Similarly, in the case 3., you direct the reader to your another website, and more precisely to certain sentence of paragraph there.
I. Why to create hyperlink in the post/page?
In my recent post (note this is my first internal link here, it will be discussed below) I have mentioned several practical reasons for making internal links, so please have a look. Here, I would like to add a few more (and, the reason for this blue text will become clear later):
a) Hyperlinks will surely reduce the bounce rate of your post/page. In my site about mountains, I had a very good post about waterproof jackets. But at one point, I realized it had a bounce rate 100 %. The reason: this was one of my first posts; I wrote a good text but did not have other pages/posts to make links. In time, I obviously had many more relevant posts/pages, but I forgot to get back and add links between them. When I finally did this, the bounce rate changed considerably.
b) Having one good page/post, and inserting hyperlink in this post toward some of your lower ranking pages/posts, will in time increase the ranking of the latter. This is known as transfer of trust or ‘link juice’. There are some sites on the Internet where you can check the authority of your pages. Knowing this, you can then make links from the most successful ones to those that are not so good at the moment.
c) Ideally, you would like to have a situation where every page/post is a potential landing page. By inserting hyperlinks you allow a visitor to move through your site easily, without looking for a home page in order to further move to your other page(s).
External links [from/to some authority, high ranking site or page] have potentially a similar role as links between your own posts/pages [explained in the item b) above].
Ranking of your page/post directly depends on the number, and even more importantly on the quality, of external links to your site. In my mentioned post about steps for improving the page rank, I gave the link of a lecture by Matt Cutts from Google, where he explains the importance of external links.
From those more general questions now to more practical ones. In my another post, I described how to insert affiliate link. The procedure is similar for any other type of link. Here are the necessary steps.
You have noticed in the text above that I already made 2 internal and 2 external links. So here is how I did it in one of those links “recent post”, in the Visual mode of the editor.
1. I go to my desired post and copy the url which is: https://justmythinking.com/how-to-improve-page-rank.
2. Next I highlight the words recent post and then click on the ‘chain’ tab in the WP Editor, which in Visual mode looks like on the picture below:
This action opens the following box:
3. Now I just paste the link in the URL tab. Check in the option ‘Open in a new window’. In such a way when the visitor following your link goes to the designated place, he or she will not leave your page/post (or the site in general if this is an external link), and this is in fact what you want to achieve, to keep visitors within your site. The result is the familiar highlighted text as you can see in this post which you are reading.
The procedure for both internal and external links is exactly the same.
4. If you do this from Text mode, the menu in the editor is slightly different as you can easily check, and there is a tab link. In this case you will see exactly how the code looks like, as shown on the picture below:
You can compare it with the corresponding blue text given above. Though I guess the end-result is only what the majority of users will be interested in. If this is so, then do the procedure in the View mode.
5. One more thing that will be useful in making links, both internal or external ones. We have seen above that when you click on the link icon (‘chain’) in the Editor you get the window
See the arrow showing to the tab which is clickable. When you click on, it opens the menu with all your previous posts used as links before. In my case this looks like:
Now I can choose one of the posts in the list and it will appear in the URL tab, and in the same time the tab Title will contain the name of the post you selected from the menu. When somebody hover above your link, it will display the name of it and the reader can see what it is about:
6. One specific situation is an internal link which opens some attached document related to your post or page. This can be some PDF, gallery of pictures, MS Word document, map, or practically any sort of document which will give extra information to the reader. Please see more about it in my another page here withing the site.
III. How to make anchor link
III.1. Anchor link within the same post/page
Perhaps you have noticed that the items in the list of links given in the beginning are hyperlinks. Well, those are in fact anchor links. I explain here how I did it.
In the picture below you see the list of links in the Text (or html) mode, as they look like in an ordinary list (the Visual mode is very similar to what you see if you go up to the list:
Now, I do a few changes in the list (marked in red) and it looks like this:
Just compare the two images above and you will see peaces of code I added in the second case. This has made my items in the list clickable, they are now hyperlinks. In Visual mode they look like:
Now it is necessary to do some small changes in the code of the target line or target item (anchor), so that the link knows where to go. Here is the title of anchor target before my intervention:
Now I do the change, see it marked here below left, in Text mode. On the right is this same anchor target in Visual mode; observe the small anchor sign:
Next, I only have to repeat the procedure for the other two links, and to save the job.
III.2. Anchor link between different pages/posts, and between different sites
To show how this works, I shall now make an anchor link between the present post which you read, and one specific section “6. Internal links” in my another page (target page) within this site [this is the page: https://justmythinking.com/how-to-improve-page-rank], where I discussed the importance of internal links for page or post ranking.
a) So in the target page, I go to Text mode and include a peace of code <a id=”Internal Links”></a> above my section title “6. Internal links”. You see below left how this looks there in Text mode, and on the right you see the same part of the text in Visual mode. As you realize, in Visual you cannot notice any sign of coding.
b) Now, in the present post I shall go into Text mode and write a normal sentence like this:”Internal links are mentioned in my another post where I discussed various ways for improving page ranking.” You see that the phrase ‘Internal links’ is clickable. Try it, it will lead you to my another post, more precisely to one particular small section or phrase.
The peace of code which I included here to make this phrase clickable reads:
As you see, it contains the URL of my another post, and it also contains the phrase Internal links. This peace of code together with the one in the item a) above contains the complete information about where the link is directed.
You can now generalize this and make an anchor link between your different sites. You realize how to do it: just replace the URL with the new one, and insert appropriate phrase.
IV. How many links per post or page.
Question is how many links is too many? I would like to point out an article by Matt Cutts from Google, where he writes about that issue. He links his text to another text on Google where it says that the number of links should be kept at a reasonable limit, below 100. So as you see, this should not be an issue in most cases.
The reason for the limit in the first place is because of users experience and how they would see the text. With too many links people are overwhelmed and have a bad experience.
He further writes that even if you exceed this recommendation, your text will not be automatically considered as spam at all. But if those links are stuffed with keywords, or contain hidden text or malware installation well this is another story. So again, many links are not necessarily seen as spam by Google.
As you have seen, inserting hyperlink is not complicated. Once you learn it, you will do it without thinking. Just like riding a bike or driving, the matter of practice. Links are necessary, but this does not imply you should overdo it. Use them where needed, and in such a way that they help readers.
About procedure of adding links in the sidebar menu you may read in another page.
I hope you will find this text useful. Your comments and questions are most welcome. Do not forget, you can always join me at Wealthy Affiliate, and you can learn how to build your own site for free, and to start an online business.
Here is a YouTube video about anchor links, just in case that my explanation is not clear enough: