What are Breadcrumbs and Why Are They Important for Your Website?
As a website owner, you want your users to have a positive experience when navigating your site. One way to help with this is by implementing breadcrumbs. If you’ve ever used a website, chances are you’ve seen breadcrumbs. They are a trail of links that show the user where they are on the website and how they got there. Breadcrumbs have become a popular feature in web design because they provide users with an easy way to navigate a site and find their way back to previous pages.
What are Breadcrumbs?
Breadcrumbs, in the context of web design, are navigational aid that shows the user the path they have taken to get to a particular page on a website. They are typically displayed horizontally at the top of the page and can be clicked to take the user back to a previous page. Breadcrumbs get its name from the Hansel and Gretel fairy tale, in which the siblings leave a trail of breadcrumbs to find their way back home.
Types of Breadcrumbs
There are three main types of breadcrumbs that you can use on your website.
Location-based breadcrumbs show the user where they are in the hierarchy of the website. For example, if you were on the “Men’s Shoes” page of an online shoe store, the location-based breadcrumb trail might look something like this:
Home > Men’s Shoes
Attribute-based breadcrumbs show the user how they arrived at the current page based on certain attributes, such as brand, size, color, or price. For example, if you were on a page for Nike shoes that were priced at $100, the attribute-based breadcrumb trail might look like this:
Home > Shoes > Nike > $100
Path-based breadcrumbs show the user the exact path they have taken to arrive at the current page. For example, if you were on the “Contact Us” page of a website, the path-based breadcrumb trail might look like this:
Home > About Us > Contact Us
In addition to improving the user experience, breadcrumbs can also have a positive impact on your website’s SEO. Breadcrumbs provide search engines with additional context about your site’s structure and content, which can help them better understand the relationship between pages on your site.
One of the ways breadcrumb SEO can improve your website’s ranking is by providing search engines with additional internal links. Internal links are links that point to other pages on your website, and they are an important ranking factor for search engines. By including breadcrumb SEO on your site, you are creating additional internal links that point to other pages on your site. This can help search engines better understand the structure of your site and index your content more efficiently.
Breadcrumb SEO can also help search engines better understand the relationship between pages on your site. By including breadcrumbs on your site, you are providing search engines with additional context about how your pages are related. This can help search engines better understand the hierarchy of your site and how different pages are connected to each other.
Benefits of Using Breadcrumb SEO
There are several benefits to using breadcrumbs on your website.
Improved User Experience
Breadcrumbs provide users with an easy way to navigate a website and find their way back to previous pages. This can be especially useful on larger websites with multiple levels of navigation.
Breadcrumbs can help users understand the structure of a website and how the pages are related to each other. This can make it easier for them to find what they’re looking for.
Increased Search Engine Visibility
Breadcrumbs can also improve your website’s visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs). Google and other search engines use breadcrumbs to understand the structure of your website and display it in search results. This can make it easier for users to find your website and navigate it once they arrive.
Best Practices for Implementing Breadcrumb SEO
To get the most out of breadcrumbs, it’s important to implement them effectively. Here are some best practices for implementing breadcrumbs on your website:
Keep it Simple
Your breadcrumb trail should be easy to understand and follow. Avoid using too many levels of navigation, as this can confuse users and make it difficult for them to find what they’re looking for. Stick to the most important levels of your site hierarchy and keep it simple.
Place Them in a Consistent Location
Breadcrumbs should be placed in a consistent location on your website. Typically, they are displayed horizontally at the top of the page, but you can also place them vertically on the left or right side of the page. Consistency is key, so make sure they are in the same location on every page of your site.
Make Them Clickable
Breadcrumbs should be clickable links that take the user back to previous pages. This makes it easy for users to navigate your site and find what they’re looking for. Make sure the links are clearly visible and easy to click on.
Use Them in Conjunction with Other Navigation Elements
Breadcrumbs should be used in conjunction with other navigation elements, such as menus and search bars. This provides users with multiple ways to navigate your site and find what they’re looking for. Breadcrumbs are not a replacement for other navigation elements, but rather a supplement to them.
Breadcrumbs are an important navigational aid that can improve the user experience on your website. They provide users with an easy way to navigate your site and find their way back to previous pages. By implementing breadcrumbs effectively, you can improve the usability of your website and make it easier for users to find what they’re looking for.
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