Breadcrumbs are website navigation elements used to create better UX and improve crawlability. Discover how Breadcrumbs impact SEO.
When it comes to SEO, there’s a lot to compete for.
Keywords, links and in-depth content Both affect your ability to rank in today’s search engines.
But still breadcrumbs so what?
No, we’re not talking about a good breading for KFC fried chicken.
Breadcrumb is a navigation feature for the website your website and they can have a great impact on SEO and user experience.
There are still a lot of websites that don’t implement breadcrumbs – which is a huge shortcoming, not only because they affect SEO but also because they are quite easy to implement.
Here’s what you need to know about what breadcrumbs are, how they impact SEO, and common mistakes to avoid.
What is breadcrumbs?
Breadcrumbs is a website navigation feature that includes links that allow users to track their location on a web page and see how far away they are in the web hierarchy they are viewing from the home page. Explore the web efficiently.
You’ll often find them at the top of a web page or just below the navigation bar.
Just like internal links, they help keep users on the site and help them find the information they’re looking for.
Here is an example of breadcrumbs from the Seothetop website:
It shows exactly what categories I clicked on to get to the page I was viewing.
The link makes it easy to go back to the previous page if I need to.
Breadcrumbs are a useful UX feature that makes website navigation easier, but they do much more than that.
Recent Google changes have made those convenient links all the more important – because now they can have a direct impact on SEO.
Here’s how to do it.
Google now displays breadcrumbs in search results and uses breadcrumbs to categorize information in search results.
There’s even a structured data report in Google Search Console if that’s your problem.
Breadcrumbs help users navigate your site, and they help Google categorize and navigate your site.
That makes breadcrumbs a big deal for SEO.
3 popular types of breadcrumbs
Not all breadcrumbs are created equal!
There are three main types of breadcrumbs, each with its own purpose.
Before adding them to your site, figure out what type of link will work best for your site.
Hierarchical-based breadcrumbs (aka location-based breadcrumbs)
The most common type of path tells users where they are in the site structure and how to get back to the home page.
Eg: Home > Resources > SEO Guide
Breadcrumbs based on attributes
This is commonly used on e-commerce sites to show what properties the user clicked on.
Eg: Home > Shoes > Hiking > Women
Breadcrumbs based on history
Show users what other pages on a website they’ve visited, similar to browser history.
For example, if you were searching for SEO news and read three different articles, the link might look something like this: Home > SEO Article 1 > SEO Article 2 > Current Page
This all sounds great, you’re thinking.
But what do breadcrumbs actually do?
If you’re not sure if breadcrumbs are worth the trouble (spoilers, they absolutely are!), you’ll want to read below.
Breadcrumbs make it easier for users to navigate the site – and they encourage users to browse through other parts of the site.
For example, let’s say you want to learn more about Nestle.
You go to their website and go to the Nestle company history page.
Using their breadcrumbs, you can easily navigate back to About Us, History or even their homepage.
It’s a useful way to make it easier for users to find what they’re looking for – and hopefully draw them deeper into your site.
Breadcrumbs are great for UX, but they also make Google happy.
If you’re doing both, are you living the SEO dream, amirite?
According to Google, they use breadcrumbs to categorize and contextualize content.
Back in 2018, Google added breadcrumbs to the results pages, making them more important than ever.
Breadcrumbs in the SERPs also help users understand where that page is on your site, so it’s a double win for SEO.
Breadcrumbs are especially useful for sites that have several local or state-level pages, such as attorneys or restaurants.
A recent case study found that implementing breadcrumbs helped them get into the top 10 of Google results.
Plus, a high bounce rate can indicate problems with UX — problems that breadcrumbs can help solve.
Let’s say you’re looking for a new pair of books on Zappos.
You found this pair, but it’s not quite what you’re looking for. Maybe snakeskin isn’t your thing.
Using Zappos’ breadcrumbs, you can easily navigate back to the boots category and find another pair.
This is great for Zappos because it can potentially prevent you from going back to Google and visiting another shoe website.
That’s the power of breadcrumbs!
A case study on Moz shows what happened when they added breadcrumbs, along with making some other changes, to a website.
The number of trading sessions increased dramatically in just a few months.
It is true that they also added meta and removed some other user experience issues, but breadcrumbs also played a part.
Breadcrumbs are an incredibly useful navigational element for both users and search engines — and they’re easy to add to your site.
One search term for the award based on one year’s category, “The 2014 Nebula Awards Best Novel”, can produce the following breadcrumbs:
Books › Science Fiction Award Winning Books
Here is an example of JSON-LD code that supports breadcrumbs and inserts it in thetag:
Here are a few ways to add these useful features to your site.
- Using Yoast SEO: If you already use Yoast, adding breadcrumbs will only take a few steps. Just login and follow following steps to implement breadcrumbs.
- WordPress Plugins: If you use WordPress, there are several plugins that can add breadcrumbs in a few steps. I like Breadcrumb NavXT because it’s easy to implement and creates locating breadcrumbs that can be customized as needed.
- WooCommerce Breadcrumbs Plugin: If you have an e-commerce site that uses Woocommerce, consider using Their breadcrumb plugin, which allows you to reformat WooCommerce’s built-in breadcrumbs.
Finally, your WordPress theme or website builder probably has a built-in breadcrumb feature.
For example, some WordPress plugins have a breadcrumb option, including Ocean WP.
To add breadcrumbs to Wix or Squarespace pages, you may need to manually add the code.
4 Common Mistakes When Using Breadcrumbs for SEO
Implementing breadcrumbs is a fairly simple way to improve a website’s SEO and provide a better user experience.
However, there are times when implementing breadcrumbs can do more harm than good.
Here are some breadcrumb mistakes that you want to avoid.
Don’t be too big or too small – Aim just right
Breadcrumbs should be easy on the eyes, but unobtrusive.
A little smaller font is okay, but text that is too small will be hard to see and hard to click on mobile devices.
Place them at the top of the page, below the hero image, or right above the H1 header to make them easy to find.
Don’t repeat your navigation bar
If the paths just duplicate what’s already in your navbar, they may not serve any additional purpose.
No need to add a lot of code (and take up space!) if it’s not useful.
Don’t ignore your navigation bar in favor of Breadcrumbs
While you don’t want to repeat navigation, you also don’t want to rely entirely on breadcrumbs.
They serve as a supplement, not a substitute, for other navigational features.
Use the right kind of Breadcrumbs
Location paths are the most common, but they may not be the best choice for your site.
Don’t use location paths if your site doesn’t use a nested structure where most of the pages fit into a few categories.
In that case, a history-based path might be more beneficial.
Breadcrumbs are an easy way to navigate the site
Think of breadcrumbs like butter for your bread.
You will get points.
Breadcrumbs are a simple change that can help your website stand out on the search results page.
While they won’t guarantee a significant increase to the SERP, they are very useful to users and search engines.
As an added bonus, breadcrumbs are easy to implement using a plugin like Yoast.
In just a few clicks you can make your website easier to navigate and possibly rank higher in the SERPs.
Source link: What is breadcrumbs? How to Implement Breadcrumbs for Websites to Improve SEO and UX