Breadcrumbs are the indicators that represent the path traveled by the visitor within a website. For the user, this element represents more agile and efficient navigation. For the company, it represents a unique opportunity to optimize SEO. Know more!
You already know that a good Digital Marketing strategy can boost your brand reach and increase the flow of visitors to your website. However, in such a busy environment, this approach is only affective if accompanied by techniques to optimize the placement of your content on search engine results pages.
To this end, SEO practices seek to match the criteria used by Google’s domain ranking algorithm . This includes the scannability of texts, the correct use of keywords, and the arrangement of categories of a website. Ultimately, the goal is to provide a qualified visitor experience.
Therefore, you need to structure your website respecting the hierarchy of information and keeping the portal categories and subcategories organized. Want to know how breadcrumbs fit into this process? Check out some questions we will answer in this article:
- What are breadcrumbs?
- What is the importance of breadcrumbs for SEO?
- What are the best practices related to breadcrumbs?
Interested? Continue reading!
What are breadcrumbs and what are their variations?
In literal translation into Portuguese, the word “breadcrumbs” can be understood as “bread crumbs”. However, some Brazilian professionals prefer to use the term “structural navigation”, which gives a more accurate idea of what this concept really is.
Still, the idea of using breadcrumbs to represent such an important element for SEO SEO can be justified if we understand the context a little better. To do this, look in your imagination for the story of John and Mary, two children who, as they go deeper into the forest, leave breadcrumbs to point the way back.
In fiction we know this doesn’t end very well, but let’s focus on reality. In the digital environment, breadcrumbs are indicative of the path taken by the visitor within the website. This way, they can return to one of the previous categories with just one click.
So if an Internet user accesses the page of an e-commerce , visits the tennis category and then a sub-category specifying the footwear brand, all of that is recorded. In this example, breadcrumbs would look something like this: portal name> shoes> chosen brand.
However, this model, which is based on the attributes of the items on page , is not the only one. Check out other types of breadcrumbs to follow!
Breadcrumbs based on the path
This type of structural navigation only considers the path taken by the user. Its elements indicate the pages the Internet user visited before arriving at the current one , even if the navigation was done randomly and not linearly.
Location Based Breadcrumbs
When based on location, breadcrumbs indicate exactly where on the website the user is. This template disregards the visitor’s path and page item attribute , taking into account only the site hierarchy of categories and subcategories.
The location of breadcrumbs on the website may vary, but usually they are displayed at the top of the page, right in the user’s line of sight.
What is the importance of breadcrumbs for SEO?
As you may already know, SEO stands for Search Engine Optmization, or Search Engine Optimization. The purpose of techniques used in this regard is to enhance the website elements to enable it to rank among the early results of the SERP , determined by an algorithm.
The criteria of this algorithm are focused on providing the Internet user with the best experience . Therefore, it is fair to say that only websites that are organized and transparent about their content will occupy privileged positions in the list. And breadcrumbs can help with this mission!
They help Google and other searchers understand the structure of your website and understand what kind of information you provide. This way, these mechanisms will find it easier to relate your content to user searches, especially if you use keywords relevant to persona .
Using this feature also enables the website to respect one of the most famous page optimization tips: the three-click rule . The idea is that for qualified navigation, the visitor must always be no more than three clicks away from all pages of the site.
What’s more, if you’re concerned about the impact that adding a breadcrumb can have on website usability, rest assured. Breadcrumbs are lightweight and have little influence on the page’s page load time . In addition, they occupy a very small space on the visitor’s screen.
What are the best practices related to breadcrumbs?
If you agree that breadcrumbs are essential elements of websites, especially those that invest in Content Marketing , it’s time to learn more about applying this feature. To get started, you must ensure that the breadcrumb is active and visible to visitors.
It’s just that some websites choose not to show this element, either for lack of knowledge about its importance, or for aesthetic reasons. However, the fact is that can exploit the advantages of breadcrumbs without compromising website design: just configure them to look discreet and in line with the page colors.
That said, check out some good practices you should keep in mind when implementing your breadcrumbs and others you should avoid. Keep reading!
Make sure breadcrumbs are mobile-friendly
To ensure the effectiveness of your Internet presence, it is essential that your website runs smoothly on mobile devices. That’s because devices such as tablets and smartphones account for a large part of visitor access. Therefore, it is crucial that your breadcrumbs do not disturb these users.
To do this, make sure the trail is too long to be arranged on a small screen. If so, the links will overlap and the experience will be harmed. To avoid this, you might consider decreasing the font size or prioritizing only the last visited pages.
Remember that the breadcrumb is only good for SEO if it is good for web surfers. Therefore, separate each item using a symbol, which may be a slash, an arrow, or whichever you find most pertinent.
In most cases, even representing an idea of hierarchy, the symbol used is the “greater than” (>).
Understand when you don’t need to use breadcrumbs
If your menu opens cascading and encompasses all pages of the website, there is no need to use breadcrumbs. Remember that this is not an aesthetic feature, but a functional one. Therefore, it makes no sense to use it in situations where it makes no difference.
Choose the location and source of breadcrumbs carefully
When setting the breadcrumb trail for your website, be careful that font size does not disrupt the list structure. To do so, prioritize smaller fonts so as not to compromise the readability of the content.
You must also choose a location for this element that makes it really useful for the user. A good idea is to position it just below the site search bar. Thus, it is clearly visible to the Internet user and facilitates their experience on the site.
Don’t use breadcrumbs as primary navigation
Never replace your menu with a breadcrumb trail. As already mentioned, this feature should always be secondary, so its existence only makes sense if there is a well-structured menu. Also, don’t let breadcrumb be the center of attention.
You need to use small fonts and unattractive colors, because you want the visitor to focus only on the page content.
Do not include links to the page the user is on
A good breadcrumb structure starts on the homepage of the website and records the user’s path to the page he is on. That said, you need to be careful to just point this page but not include a link to it. After all, this would take the user back to the same location.
Providing qualified navigation to your website visitor is not just a way to optimize search engine placement. This practice enhances the experience of its consumers, who thus become easier targets for their customer loyalty approaches .
The use of breadcrumbs is therefore an interesting feature for your company as a whole. If structured correctly, the breadcrumb will enhance your page’s rankings and reduce the bounce rate of your visitors . The result is increased company results and the consolidation of its image on the Internet.
Now that you know more about breadcrumbs and their importance for SEO, how about continuing learning? In this article, we delve into the top ranking factors for local SEO . Check out!