Breadcrumbs is one of the types of site navigation. The name was inspired by the Grimm brothers’ fairy tale where children threw breadcrumbs in the woods to find their way back home. So on the site – the visitor can always understand where he is and, if necessary, return to the previous section, if you have correctly configured the breadcrumbs.
Whether your site needs breadcrumbs, whether they influence SEO and how to set them up – we tell you in the post.
What Breadcrumbs are and What Their Structure is?
Breadcrumbs – this name has taken root for the navigation chain located at the top of the site page.
Usually, this chain displays the path from the home page to the one the user is currently on. Typically, it looks like this: Home page – Section – Subsection – Page.
But there are other options.
Dynamic breadcrumbs. This is when the navigation chain displays page nesting depending on the user’s path, not the page hierarchy. For example, on your site there are sections with products “Gifts for a guy” and “Gifts for a friend. Socks can be in two sections at the same time, so the navigation chain for a page with this product may look different – depending on how the user got to it.
Breadcrumbs with a drop-down list. This is a navigation chain with more advanced functionality. Each section of the list displays a list of adjacent sections when you hover over it. This means that the user can not only go back one level higher, but also to an adjacent section of any category. It’s is convenient to combine this list with advanced product options.
There are also variants where too long breadcrumbs are shortened by removing obvious subdivisions, or, conversely, add an additional element to them – for example, with a product brand.
You can also come across examples when the navigation chain begins not with the main page of the site and the directory.
Which Sites Need Breadcrumbs?
As you have already understood, breadcrumbs help with navigation on sites with complex structure and many categories. Usually, the first to come to mind big online stores, but for information portals, forums, blogs, corporate resources such a navigation chain is also needed. The main criterion is not the type of resource, but the nesting of its pages.
If your site is a linear structure with a maximum of two levels of nesting, there is no need for breadcrumbs. But if the nesting levels are more than two, then without the crumbs can not do. Otherwise, users will be difficult to track your way to the page and beautiful snippets with the navigation you also do not see.
3 Reasons to Use Breadcrumbs for SEO
The introduction of breadcrumbs does not take much time, but the benefits are really great – improved usability, internal relinking and ranking of the site in search engines.
1. Usability Improvement
With breadcrumbs on the site easier to navigate. Users can always see where they are, how they get back or to another section of the resource. Especially if the product page of the visitor was caught on the link or directly from the issue.
Let’s look at an example. You are looking for an iron, but the model that you were looking for, you did not like it. What to do? Of course, look at other irons, and you can do it using the breadcrumbs on the site.
You can also use breadcrumbs to move to a higher nesting level in one click without using the browser button “Back”. After all, if the user of the site on a page set filters (for example, the power of the product or price), then returning through the browser, he can lose these settings.
To prevent this from happening, E-commerce retailers will place a “Back” button. By clicking on it, the visitor can return to pages that he or she has previously visited without losing the selected filter settings.
2. High-Quality Internal Relinking
Since breadcrumbs are one of the types of navigation menus, they are useful for internal linking and participate in weight distribution of links.
The higher the page in the hierarchy, the more important it is – all pages subordinate to it transfer weight to it. Thus, the main page should be referenced by sections, sections by subsections, and subsections by product pages.
3. Pumped Snippet and Position Growth
If breadcrumbs are correctly placed on your site, you can get snippets with navigation chains in Google search results.
It is interesting that the navigation chain for your snippet can change according to the user’s search query. Google Search uses breadcrumb markup to define a category of content for a search query.
Thanks to a snippet with a navigation chain, users can move to different sections of your site directly from the issue by simply clicking on the desired section. At the same time, behavioral factors are improved and you additionally demonstrate other sections of your web resource right in the issue.
If you look even wider, the improvement of behavioral factors and the correct linking entails a better ranking of pages on your site in search engines.
To allow you to evaluate all the advantages of breadcrumbs, you need to add them to the site by all rules and use the appropriate micro markup.