What are breadcrumbs? Why are they important for SEO?
Breadcrumbs are a navigational aid that can be found on many websites. They are a series of links that show the user where they are on the site's hierarchy and how they got there. Breadcrumbs are not only useful for site visitors, but they can also help improve your site's search engine optimization (SEO). In this article, we will explore the benefits of using breadcrumbs and how you can implement them on your website.
What Are Breadcrumbs?
Breadcrumbs are a secondary navigation system that displays the user's location on a website. They can take the form of a horizontal row of links at the top of the page, or a vertical list in the sidebar. Breadcrumbs typically show the user's location in a hierarchy of pages, with the top level being the home page and the lower levels being subpages.
Why Are Breadcrumbs Important for SEO?
Breadcrumbs are important for SEO for several reasons:
- Improved User Experience: Breadcrumbs make it easy for users to navigate a website, especially if it has a complex structure. They can quickly see where they are and how they got there, which can reduce frustration and confusion. This improved user experience can lead to increased engagement and better conversion rates.
- Enhanced Site Structure: Breadcrumbs help search engines understand the structure of a website. By showing the hierarchy of pages, breadcrumbs provide context for the content on each page. This can help search engines determine the importance of pages and how they relate to each other.
- Increased Click-Through Rates: Breadcrumbs can also increase click-through rates from search engine results pages (SERPs). When a user sees a search result with a breadcrumb trail, they can quickly see where the page fits into the overall site structure. This can make them more likely to click through to the page, especially if it is relevant to their search query.
How to Implement Breadcrumbs on Your Website
Implementing breadcrumbs on your website can be done in several ways. The method you choose will depend on your website platform and the level of customization you require. Here are some common ways to implement breadcrumbs:
- HTML Markup: Breadcrumbs can be added to your website's HTML markup manually. This requires some coding knowledge but allows for complete customization.
- Plugin or Extension: Many website platforms have plugins or extensions available that make it easy to add breadcrumbs to your site. These can be a good option if you are not comfortable with coding or need a quick and easy solution.
- Built-In Functionality: Some website platforms, such as WordPress, have built-in breadcrumb functionality. This means you can turn on breadcrumbs in your site's settings without the need for additional coding or plugins.
Best Practices for Using Breadcrumbs
When implementing breadcrumbs on your website, there are several best practices to keep in mind:
- Use a Clear and Consistent Format: Breadcrumbs should be easy to understand and follow. Use a clear and consistent format that is easy to read and navigate.
- Don't Overdo It: Too many breadcrumbs can clutter your page and confuse users. Stick to a maximum of three to five levels to avoid overwhelming users.
- Make Them Clickable: Breadcrumbs should be clickable links that take the user to the corresponding page. This provides an additional navigation option for users and can improve the overall user experience.
Breadcrumbs are a simple but powerful tool that can improve both user experience and SEO on your website. By showing users where they are on your site and how they got there, breadcrumbs can reduce frustration and confusion while also providing valuable context for search engines. Implementing breadcrumbs on your website
Frequently Asked Questions about Breadcrumbs
Q: What is the recommended number of breadcrumbs to include in a website?
A: The recommended number of breadcrumbs to include in a website is three to five. Including too many breadcrumbs can make them cluttered and difficult to follow.
Q: Can breadcrumbs improve the overall user experience of a website?
A: Yes, breadcrumbs can improve the overall user experience of a website by providing users with an easy way to navigate back to previous pages.
Q: Can breadcrumbs affect the search engine ranking of a website?
A: Yes, breadcrumbs can affect the search engine ranking of a website by providing search engines with additional information about the website's structure and content.
Q: How can I implement breadcrumbs in my website?
A: Breadcrumbs can be implemented in a website using either a plugin or manually coding them into the website's HTML and CSS.
Q: Should I use a plugin or manually code breadcrumbs into my website?
A: It depends on your preference and technical skill level. Plugins can make it easier to implement breadcrumbs, but manual coding allows for greater customization and control.
Q: Can breadcrumbs be used in e-commerce websites?
A: Yes, breadcrumbs can be particularly useful in e-commerce websites as they allow users to easily navigate back to previously viewed products or categories.
Q: Are there any best practices to follow when using breadcrumbs for SEO?
A: Yes, some best practices to follow when using breadcrumbs for SEO include ensuring that the breadcrumb links are crawlable by search engines and avoiding keyword stuffing in the breadcrumb text.
Q: How do breadcrumbs differ from the navigation menu?
A: Breadcrumbs provide users with a trail of links that show the path they have taken to get to the current page, while the navigation menu shows all the available links on a website.
Q: Can I customize the appearance of my breadcrumbs to match my website's design?
A: Yes, the appearance of breadcrumbs can be customized using CSS to match the design of the website.
Q: How do breadcrumbs work on mobile devices?
A: Breadcrumbs on mobile devices typically collapse into a single icon or button that expands to show the breadcrumb trail when clicked or tapped.
Using Schema.org to learn about structured data for breadcrumbs
Schema.org is the go-to source for information about structured data types you can use.
Breadcrumbs provide an easy visual that assists web visitors in navigating your website. They help your users instantly understand how your site structure works, and how to find what they're browsing for. Google loves them for the same reason. So using Yoast SEO can help you easily add them to your site.
If you need help with web development and building a website focused on great UX then contact Whitewood Media for help. Our team is made of web developers who focus on SEO & backend API web development.
Whitewood Media can handle any web development project. We will help your business grow to the next level by using industry-leading software, tools & trends.