It is reported that one of the website elements that Google likes is breadcrumbs. Google is urging the importance of breadcrumbs in all their SEO-related documents and guides. The reason is clear as Breadcrumb trails have something to provide to both search engines and users.

More importantly, the Search engines use them to get a better idea of how your website is structured and they assist users to navigate a website simpler. In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about breadcrumbs, why they are crucial, how to optimize them and how they help SEO.

We understand that a breadcrumb trail is a small menu usually located at the top of a page, used as a navigational aid. It shows the path to go from the current page back to the homepage. Moreover, the Breadcrumb menu on a website gives a new visitor orientation and shows her or him, exactly where she or he is on the website.

Breadcrumb on a website primarily assists in encouraging browsing and reducing bounce rate, improving the searchability of your website, providing SEO benefits, and assist in reducing user anxiety.

Different Kinds of Breadcrumbs

Primarily the Breadcrumbs can have different forms but all types have the same goal i.e. to assist users to understand the relationship between the current pages with the rest of the site.

Hierarchy Based Breadcrumbs

It’s the typical breadcrumb you can find on blogs or websites that have a simple hierarchical structure. With hierarchy-based breadcrumbs, the user can simply see where along with the architecture of your site they are and easily move up to the higher-level page.

Dynamic Breadcrumbs

The Dynamic or attribute-based-breadcrumbs are used in cases a product has many attributes and the breadcrumb trail reflects that to make navigation easier. Also, notice how the breadcrumb helps users select different product attributes without leaving the current page.

History-Based Breadcrumbs

More specifically the breadcrumb path trail is build based on the pages a user has visited. It is not a good SEO web design practice and should not be used very often. So with history-based breadcrumbs, the user actually can quickly jump to one of the previous pages in their journey, with all of their selections intact.

Why Breadcrumbs are so important?

Breadcrumbs are an important element of an SEO friendly website since:

  • They make navigation simpler – that’s the main role of breadcrumbs and this is why users love them.
  • They also encourage people to visit more pages of a website before they exit and thus they reduce the bounce rate.
  • It is absolutely good for SEO.

You have key reasons why breadcrumbs are good for SEO. More importantly, they assist search engine bots during the crawling and indexing phase. Crawlers can actually identify breadcrumbs and may use the breadcrumb structure to gather more information about a web page and site. In addition, Google shows breadcrumb information in the SERPS, instead of showing the permalink of a page.

seo breadcrumbs

Users should make sure that breadcrumbs are enabled and visible to the users

This might sound obvious but many web designers tend to hide the breadcrumb trail since they feel it does not match with the design. It is not true.

Users make sure that breadcrumbs are mobile-friendly.

If you want to decide to keep breadcrumbs visible on mobile devices, make sure that the font size is big enough so that the links can be clicked easily. They are regarded to be common practice to either hide breadcrumbs on mobiles or make them look like buttons.

Better to Add Breadcrumb schema

The best reason that breadcrumbs are shown in place of the URLs in Google search results, is since they have the breadcrumb schema markup enabled on web site.

What is all about Schema markup?

They are a special way to highlight certain areas of your website to search engines crawlers so that they can get a better understanding of how a page is structured.

Thereby adding pieces of code into your HTML this is called structured data, you can give search engines more information about your page and content. This could increase your chances of getting rich snippets in the search results and also well-formatted breadcrumbs.

Breadcrumb trails are beneficial for the user experience, they make your search snippets look better and Google adores them. These key reasons are enough to convince users that one needs to enable breadcrumbs on all your pages.

Implementing the breadcrumb list schema and having the correct structured data is most necessary for Google and other search engines to interpret your breadcrumb implementation correctly.

When Should You Not Use Breadcrumbs?

It is a difficult question one since Breadcrumbs are harmless most times. Suppose if your site contains only a few pages, without many levels of hierarchy, breadcrumbs might not be that much useful. Including breadcrumbs in these cases is unnecessary and immensely confusing to the reader.

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