Breadcrumbs are one of Google’s favourite webpage components. Google emphasises the value of breadcrumbs in all of its SEO documents and tips. Because breadcrumb paths benefit both search engines and users. Search engines use them to understand better how your website is structured and help people navigate a website. In this blog, we will tell you all about what are breadcrumbs and how they can be helpful to SEO.
What are Breadcrumbs?
Breadcrumbs, often known as a breadcrumb trail, are a navigational feature that helps users understand where they are on a website. While they are common on websites, they are not exclusive to the Internet because you can also find them on your computer or laptop. Like we have shown below,
Do you recall the tale of Hansel and Gretel? Their parents abandoned the siblings in the forest, hoping they wouldn’t find their way back home. However, Hansel, guessing their plan, left a trail of breadcrumbs so they could find their way back home.
And that’s exactly what breadcrumbs in SEO do: they guide you back to the homepage.
Types of Breadcrumbs
Breadcrumbs are a useful navigation feature that allows website visitors to track their location within a website’s hierarchy easily. They provide users with a clear understanding of their current location on a website and how they got there.
There are three main types of breadcrumbs:
- Hierarchy-based breadcrumbs
- Attribute-based breadcrumbs
- History-based breadcrumbs
Each type serves a unique purpose and can be implemented to enhance the user experience on your website.
Hierarchy Based Breadcrumbs
Hierarchy-based breadcrumbs display the user’s location within a website’s hierarchy, but instead of showing the entire breadcrumb trail, they only show the immediate parent page. For example, if a user is on a product page, the breadcrumb trail might look like this: Home > Products.
This type of breadcrumb is useful for websites with a deep hierarchy, as it allows users to quickly navigate up to the parent page without going through the entire breadcrumb trail.
Hierarchy-based breadcrumbs are also useful for websites with a large number of pages, as they provide a simplified way for users to navigate to different sections of the website. However, it’s important to note that hierarchy-based breadcrumbs may not be as useful for users who are trying to retrace their steps or find a specific page they previously visited.
Hierarchy-based breadcrumbs are another type of breadcrumb that can be used to enhance the user experience on a website. They are particularly useful for websites with a deep hierarchy or a large number of pages. Still, they may not be as useful for users who need to retrace their steps or find a specific page they previously visited.
Attribute-based breadcrumbs show the attributes or properties of the current page rather than the user’s location within the website’s hierarchy. For example, if a user is on a product page for a red shirt, the breadcrumb trail might look like this: Home > Clothing > Shirts > Red Shirts. This type of breadcrumb is useful for users who want to browse products by specific attributes or properties.
Attribute-based breadcrumbs can be particularly useful for e-commerce websites. Users may want to refine their search or browse products by specific attributes such as colour, size, or brand. They can also help users quickly find the products they are interested in and improve the overall user experience on the website.
They are particularly useful for e-commerce websites or websites where users may want to browse products by specific attributes or properties. However, they may not be as useful for users who need to retrace their steps or find a specific page they previously visited.
History Based Breadcrumbs
History-based breadcrumbs show the user’s recently visited pages in reverse chronological order. For example, if a user visited the homepage, blog page, and contact page, the breadcrumb trail might look like this: Contact > Blog > Home. This type of breadcrumb is useful for users who want to quickly revisit a page they recently viewed or navigate back to a previous page without having to use the back button.
Why Breadcrumbs are Important for SEO?
Breadcrumbs are an important navigational feature on websites that show the user’s current location within a website’s hierarchy. They are typically displayed near the top of a page and provide a clickable trail that allows users to navigate back to higher-level pages within site easily. Let’s see how breadcrumbs are important for Search Engine Optimisation.
Improved User Experience
Breadcrumbs provide a clear and concise way for users to understand their location on a website. This can help users better navigate a website and find the information they are looking for. By providing a better user experience, websites can improve their user engagement metrics, such as bounce rate and time on site. These metrics are important for SEO as search engines use them to determine the quality and relevance of a website.
Better Site Structure
Breadcrumbs also provide a visual representation of a website’s hierarchy, which can help users understand how pages are related to one another. This can help users navigate a website more easily and find the content they are looking for. From an SEO perspective, breadcrumbs help search engine crawlers understand the structure of a website and the relationship between pages. This can help search engines better index and rank a website’s pages.
Rich Snippet Opportunities
Breadcrumbs can also be used to create rich snippets in search engine results pages (SERPs). Rich snippets are additional information displayed in search results that provide more context about a website’s content. By using structured data markup to mark up breadcrumbs on a website, website owners can enable search engines to display breadcrumbs in their search results. This can help improve click-through rates (CTRs) from search results and improve a website’s visibility in search results.
Breadcrumbs are particularly useful on mobile devices where screen space is limited. By providing a clear and concise way for users to navigate a website on a small screen, breadcrumbs can improve the user experience on mobile devices. Since mobile friendliness is an important ranking factor for SEO, using breadcrumbs on a website can help improve its mobile-friendliness score.
If you value user experience on your website, then adopting breadcrumbs might be appropriate. As you can see above, they perform wonders for your visitors, making navigating your site much easier and bringing many SEO benefits!
By providing a clear and concise way for users to navigate a website, breadcrumbs can improve user engagement metrics and help search engines better understand a website’s structure.