What are breadcrumbs and what is their importance for SEO – WAU

Breadcrumbs are the indicators that represent the path taken by the visitor within a website. For the user, this element represents a 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 enhance the reach of your brand and increase the flow of visitors to your website. However, in such a crowded 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 algorithm for the ranking of domains. This includes the scannability of texts, the correct use of keywords and the layout of categories on a website. Ultimately, the goal is to provide a qualified visitor experience.

Therefore, it is necessary to structure your website respecting the hierarchy of information and keeping the categories and sub-categories of the portal organized. Want to know how breadcrumbs fit into this process? Check out some questions that we will answer in this article:

Interested? Read on!

What are breadcrumbs and what are their variations?

In a literal translation into London, the word “breadcrumbs” can be understood as “bread crumbs”. However, some London 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 bread crumbs to represent this very important element for SEO can be justified if we understand the context a little better. To do this, look for the story of João and Maria, two children who, when they go deeper into the forest, leave bread crumbs to indicate the way back.

In fiction we know that this does not end very well, but we will focus on reality. In the digital environment, breadcrumbs are indicative of the path taken by the visitor within the website. That way, they can return to one of the previous categories with just one click.

So, if an Internet user accesses an e-commerce page, visits the tennis category and then a sub-category specifying the footwear brand, all of this is recorded. In this example, breadcrumbs would look something like this: portal name> footwear> brand chosen.

However, this model, which is based on the attributes of the items on the page, is not the only one. Check out other types of breadcrumbs below!

Path-based breadcrumbs

This type of structural navigation takes into account only the path taken by the user. Its elements indicate the pages that the user visited before reaching the current, even if the navigation was done in a random and non-linear way.

Location-based breadcrumbs

When based on location, breadcrumbs indicate exactly where on the website the user is. This model disregards the path taken by the visitor and the attribute of the items on the page, taking into account only the hierarchy of categories and sub-categories of the site.

The location of breadcrumbs on the website can vary, but they are usually exposed 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, in London, Search Engine Optimization. The purpose of techniques used in this sense is to improve the elements of the website to enable it to rank among the first 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 in relation to their content will occupy privileged positions in the list. And breadcrumbs can help with this mission!

They help Google and other search engines to understand the structure of your website and to understand what kind of information you offer. That way, these mechanisms will find it easier to relate your content to user searches, especially if you use keywords relevant to the persona.

The use of this feature also makes it possible for the website to respect one of the most famous page optimization tips: the three click rule. The idea is that, to have a 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 trail might have on the usability of the site, rest assured. Breadcrumbs are light and have almost no influence on page load times. 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 on websites, especially those that invest in Content Marketing, it’s time to learn more about how to apply this feature. To begin, you must ensure that the breadcrumb is active and visible to visitors.

It is that some websites choose not to leave this element on display, either for lack of knowledge about its importance, or for an aesthetic issue. However, the fact is that you can explore the benefits of breadcrumbs without compromising your website design: just configure them to have a discreet appearance and aligned with the colors of the page.

That said, check out some good practices you should keep in mind when implementing your breadcrumbs and others you should avoid. Read on!

Make sure breadcrumbs are mobile-friendly

To ensure the efficiency of your presence on the Internet, it is essential that your website runs smoothly on mobile devices. This is because devices such as tablets and smartphones represent a large part of the accesses made by visitors. Therefore, it is crucial that your breadcrumbs do not disturb these users.

To do this, make sure the track is too long to be displayed on a small screen. If so, the links will overlap and the experience will suffer. To avoid this, you can consider decreasing the font size or prioritizing only the last pages visited.

Use tabs

Remember that the navigation trail is only good for SEO if it is good for Internet surfers. Therefore, separate each item using a symbol, which can be a bar, an arrow or whatever you think is most relevant.

In most cases, even because it represents an idea of ​​hierarchy, the symbol used is the “greater than” (>).

Understand when there is no need to use breadcrumbs

If your menu opens in a cascade and includes 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 the breadcrumbs carefully

When configuring the navigation trail for your website, be careful that the font size does not interfere with the structure of the list. For such, prioritize smaller fonts so as not to compromise the readability of the content.

It is also necessary to choose a location for this element that makes it really useful for the user. A good idea is to place it just below the site search bar. Thus, it is clearly visible to the Internet user and facilitates their experience on the site.

Do not use breadcrumbs as primary navigation

Never replace your menu with a breadcrumb trail. As we already mentioned, this feature must always be secondary, so its existence only makes sense if there is a well-structured menu. Also, don’t make the breadcrumb the center of attention.

It is necessary to use fonts of reduced size and colors that are not striking, after all, you want the visitor to focus only on the content of the page.

Do not include links to the page the user is on

A good breadcrumb structure is initiated on the website’s home page and records the user’s path to the page where he is. That said, care must be taken to only indicate that page, but not to 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 improves the experience of its consumers, who thus become easier targets for their loyalty approaches.

The use of breadcrumbs is therefore an interesting feature for your company as a whole. If properly structured, the navigation trail will increase the ranking of your page and reduce the bounce rate of visitors. The result is an increase in the company’s results and the consolidation of its image on the Internet.

Now that you know more about breadcrumbs and their importance to SEO, how about continuing learning? In this article, we delve into the main ranking factors for local SEO. Check out!