What Are Breadcrumbs & Why Do They Matter for SEO?
What Are Breadcrumbs & Why Do They Matter for SEO?
Do you still remember the classic Grimm’s Fairy Tales where the children -Hansel and Gretel spread breadcrumbs to find their way back home?
Breadcrumbs have gained their name from there. They help users comprehend their current position and also assist them to return to the previous site section.
In fact, breadcrumbs are a feature of navigation that can impact both SEO and user experience in a delightful way.
The best part about breadcrumbs according to the professionals of reputed SEO company in India is that the implementation of the same for SEO is also super easy.
But in order make the best of this, you should know what the breadcrumbs are and how they work!
What Are Breadcrumbs?
The breadcrumb trail is a small menu that is usually located at the page top used as navigational assistance. It shows the path to the homepage from the current page.
Here is an example of Breadcrumb Trail –
The Breadcrumb trail begins from the home page followed by the category name and the current page. Every step is clickable that comes in the path.
Types and Structure of Breadcrumbs
Breadcrumbs are of different types.
Here are 3 main types and each one comes with some functionality of its own.
You need to understand which one will be best suitable for your site before adding them to your site.
a)Hierarchy-Based Breadcrumbs – These are also known as the Location-based breadcrumbs and are the most common breadcrumb types. They tell the users where they are and how they can return to the homepage.
For example – Home>Resources>Tutorials
b)Attribute-Based Breadcrumbs – This shows the users what attributes are clicked by them like the following –
Home> T-shirts> Sports> Womens Purses
c)History-Based Breadcrumbs – This shows users the pages that they have visited like the browser history.
For example, if you are searching for SEO tips and have visited 3 main articles – the breadcrumbs can look like this –
Home>SEO Tips 1>SEO Tips 2> Current Page
Now that you know the most common types of breadcrumbs used, let’s understand what perks breadcrumbs bring to the table –
a)Improve the User Experience – When it comes to user experience there are nothing like breadcrumbs. These assist visitors to navigate the site in a much easier way.
Not only that, they also help them comprehend how the site works. It inspires the users to explore the site deeper and discover the new functionalities as well as pages.
b)Reduce the Bounce Rate – Though bounce rate is not the direct factor impacting it but it can still assist SEO directly.
A high bounce rate also indicates issues with the user experience that breadcrumbs can provide a solution to.
For example, if you are looking for a particular book or a classic on Flipkart, and you want a different version then the Flipkart breadcrumbs will help you to head back to the last page from where you can pick from the different options.
This way Flipkart keeps you from leaving their site and head for another one. That is how breadcrumbs can empower the site.
c)Impress Google or Other Search Engines – The best part of breadcrumbs is that these are also loved by Google as well.
The best seo service experts opine that Google uses breadcrumbs for contextualising and categorizing contents.
The breadcrumbs in the SERPs also assist users to understand where the page remains on the site which is the cherry on the top for the SEO.
For the sites that have several state-level or local pages. The breadcrumbs are especially useful.
In fact, research says that implementing the breadcrumbs assisted websites to crack the top 10 results.
SEO Best Practices
You can follow some simple rules for optimising your breadcrumbs for SEO –
a)Ensure that the Breadcrumbs Are Visible and Enabled to the Users – Though it is obvious but many web designers actually tend to hide the breadcrumb trail as they feel that doesn’t go with the design. But that is not true. When designed well, breadcrumbs can only improve the looks of the website, not diminish it.
b)Position the Breadcrumbs Well – You should place the breadcrumbs below the navigation bar or on top of the page. This is a common practise and the audience expect the breadcrumbs to be there by default. You can also place at the bottom of the page like Apple. This way the visitors don’t have to scroll all the way up through all the lengthy descriptions.
You can also use 2 breadcrumb paths both in the top and at the bottom for the same reason. It should also be of a standard size – not too big or small.
c)Make the Breadcrumbs Mobile-friendly – If you want to keep the breadcrumbs visible on the mobile, ensure then the font size is big enough so that the links are clickable. Don’t hide them or make them look like buttons.
d)Quit Repeating or Ditching Your Nav Bar for SEO – If the breadcrumbs repeat what is already there in the navigation bar, it won’t serve a purpose. You don’t need to put on extra load on your site. Therefore you don’t need to rely on breadcrumbs entirely. They should supplement the navigation bar and not replace it.
Methods of Implementing Breadcrumbs in WordPress
Breadcrumbs have proven to be extremely beneficial for both SERPs and customers and they are able to add to the site.
- WooCommerce Breadcrumb Plugin – You should use the WooCommerce breadcrumb plugin through which you can restyle the style and generate the locational breadcrumbs which can be personalised too.
- Use Yoast – For those who use Yoast already, you just need a few steps for breadcrumbs and you can take advantage of this easily.
- WordPress Plugins – If WordPress is what you use, there are variety of plugins that can add breadcrumbs. Plugins like Breadcrumb NavXT is simple to implement and gives rise to locational breadcrumbs as they can be personalised, too.
So the digital marketing experts rightly opine that breadcrumbs are the butter to your bread and the chips to your fish.
That is breadcrumbs provide that essence which makes your website stand out and make its mark amongst the target audience which will compel them to come back time and again to do more business with your e-shop.
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