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What are Breadcrumbs and Why Are They Important for Your Website?

Published Date: March 17, 2023
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

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

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

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

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

Breadcrumb SEO

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.

Better 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.

FAQs

Ans: Breadcrumbs can enhance the user experience by telling users where they are on your website’s hierarchical structure. They are a type of navigational feature. These breadcrumbs appear as a trail of links, representing the path from the homepage to the current page. Breadcrumbs are essential for your websites because they let Google and other search engines understand your website’s structure, improving your SEO performance.

Ans: No, breadcrumbs are not limited to just e-commerce websites. Since they are navigational features, they are crucial aspects of SEO for any website. Moreover, breadcrumbs are particularly beneficial if you have a complex website structure. In non-commerce contexts, breadcrumbs can show the hierarchical structure of the website’s sections, such as categories, subcategories, and individual pages.

Ans. Yes, breadcrumbs are a crucial part of SEO for websites. If your website has breadcrumbs in place, it becomes easier for users to navigate your website and clearly understand its structure. This leads to a lower bounce rate, increased engagements and more extended visits, directly affecting your SEO. However, Breadcrumbs are just one piece of the puzzle. To see some actual results, you need to have a holistic SEO strategy in place that includes other aspects like relevant keywords, mobile optimizations, etc.

Ans: Breadcrumbs display the user’s current location in your website’s entire structure. Apart from depicting the user’s current page, they also show its relation to the ages they have visited before. If you want to locate them, check near the top of the webpage.

Ans: Breadcrumbs are suitable for all types of websites. However, they are highly beneficial for websites with complex structures. For example, e-commerce websites, news websites, or any other type of large information website can greatly benefit from them.

Ans: Breadcrumbs can have a positive impact on your website’s performance. They are the primary navigational element that helps users understand the structure of your website. Specifically for larger websites, it’s crucial to have breadcrumbs in place so that search engines can navigate your website quickly and can them accordingly on SERP.

Ans: Yes, there are some practices that your should follow when implementing breadcrumbs on your websites.

  • Start with the homepage: The first breadcrumb should be linked to your homepage.
  • Display the current page: The last breadcrumb should always display your latest page. However, it should be linked since users are already on this page.
  • Use a separator: Using a separator such as a (>) sign of a slash(/) is essential since it visually separates the pages.

Ans: Yes, breadcrumbs can significantly improve the accessibility of a website by providing users with additional navigation cues and context.

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