Breadcrumb Strategy: Types, Benefits, and Common Mistakes

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Breadcrumbs are website links that allow users to track where they are on a website and how far they are from the homepage. You’ll usually find them at the top of a website or just under the navigation bar.

Just like internal links, they help keep users on a website and help them find the information they are looking for. Breadcrumbs are a useful UX feature that makes site navigation more accessible, but they do a lot more.

3 Common Types of Breadcrumbs

Not all breadcrumbs are created equal! There are three main types of breadcrumbs, each with its own purpose. Before adding these to your site, figure out which type of breadcrumbs will best fit your site.

Hierarchy-Based Breadcrumbs (a.k.a., Location-Based Breadcrumbs)

They show where you are in a site’s hierarchy and how many steps it

takes to return to the homepage. For example:  Home > Blog > Category > Post name,

Attribute-Based Breadcrumbs

Attribute-based breadcrumbs are most commonly seen after a user searches on an e-commerce site, and the breadcrumb trail is made up of product attributes, such as: Home > Product Type > Gender > Size > Color.

History-Based Breadcrumbs

History-based breadcrumbs do precisely what they say on the box; they are organized based on your activity on the site. Consider them to be an alternative to your online history bar, resulting in something like this: Home > Previous page > Previous page > Previous page > Previous page > Current page.

Benefits of Using Breadcrumbs for SEO

1. Indexability

Breadcrumbs are a great way to help search engines understand the content of the current page, which helps with things like relevancy in search results.

In addition to helping search engines understand your content, breadcrumbs also allow the crawler to contact each page on your site individually. As a result, breadcrumbs can add the ability to crawl content quicker and more accurately.

2. Better Navigation

People dislike being lost. Individuals frequently look around for identifiable items or landmarks when presented with a new environment, and websites are no exception. It would be best to keep visitors satisfied while minimizing friction as much as possible. Breadcrumbs can improve your user experience since they are a standard interface feature that immediately informs visitors how to exit. There is no need to return to the previous page!

3. Reduce Bounce Rates

Almost no one reaches a website through the homepage – it’s all about organic search. That implies that any element of your website might serve as an entrance point. If the selected page does not fulfil their demands, you must create a method to direct them to other areas of your site. Breadcrumbs help reduce bounce rates by providing users with another method to navigate your site. Don’t you believe it’s preferable to redirect a visitor to your site rather than back to Google?

Common SEO Mistakes When Using Breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs are a simple approach to boost a site’s SEO and deliver a better user experience. However, there are situations when using breadcrumbs may do more damage than good. Here are a few breadcrumb blunders you should avoid.

Don’t go too big or too little. 

Breadcrumbs should be visible but not overbearing. A somewhat smaller font is OK, but the too-small text will be difficult to read and click on mobile devices. Place them at the top of the page, behind the hero picture, or just above the H1 title to make them easier to discover.

Don’t Simply Try to replicate Your Navigation Bar.

Your breadcrumb links should be different and consist of the parent item and then the sub-items. This will create an intuitive flow with your design, so the user can easily follow it.

Using the Wrong Type of Bread Crumbs

Breadcrumbs are a UX design element, not just an SEO optimization tool. If you cannot implement breadcrumbs on your website, don’t just use another less useful navigation feature instead. Remember the three types of breadcrumbs and which type is best for your case.

Breadcrumbs are essential and should be implemented on every website. They not only help users navigate the website, but they also improve SEO and help keep users on your site. Designing the perfect breadcrumb takes some practice, but it’s worth the time spent on it.

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