The alternative SEO rank tracker

What are breadcrumbs and how do I apply them to my website to improve SEO?

Breadcrumbs | 

A very important aspect of SEO is to optimize a website so that users can navigate it easily and quickly, eliminating barriers or problems that can damage their user experience.

There are many factors that must be taken care of in on-page SEO in this regard, such as internal links, content organization, or site structuring, among others. Different elements can also be used to facilitate web browsing, such as breadcrumbs.

Table of content

What are Breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs are an internal linking system that serves as a guide for users to navigate the web more easily and fluidly. Breadcrumbs complement a site’s navigation menu to offer a better user experience.

To implement breadcrumbs on a website, microdata is used, with RDFa or JSOL-LD markup. Although it may seem complex, it is easy to include breadcrumbs in a WordPress site, thanks to the number of existing plugins or plugins.

Why are they called breadcrumbs?

The origin of the name breadcrumbs lies in the resemblance of its function to the tactic used by children in the Hansel and Gretel folk tale to find out their way home. In that story, when the children went into the forest, they left a trail of breadcrumbs so that they could find their way back home.

What are breadcrumbs for?

The main objective of breadcrumbs is that users know at all times where they are on the web. The structure of the breadcrumbs offers information to users about where they are and what navigation options they have.

What is the structure of the breadcrumbs

The usual structure of the most popular breadcrumbs (hierarchical ones) follow the following pattern:

Home> Page level 1> Page level 2>…> Current page

The user will see the page on which they are within this structure highlighted (usually with a different color): By clicking on each link of the breadcrumbs, the user can directly access the level of the website they want.

How breadcumbs influence SEO

Google likes breadcrumbs, even showing them on the results pages. If a website uses breadcrumbs, its web positioning will be favored.

The breadcrumbs also help reinforce the keywords, indicating to Google that the keywords included in the breadcrumbs are the ones that are most interesting to the position.

As we discussed earlier, breadcrumbs facilitate web browsing and therefore improve the user experience. Improving the user experience is essential to achieve better positions in Google.

With the breadcrumbs, users will stay longer browsing the web and will not bounce to other external sites (decrease in the bounce rate and increase the time of permanence, two fundamental metrics for all types of websites ).

Types of breadcrumbs

  • Hierarchical. These breadcrumbs take as a reference the place where the user is and offer them alternatives to navigate, both in ascending and descending levels. This is the most widely used type of breadcrumb.
  • From history. It is less common to find breadcrumbs of history. In this type, the crumbs take as a reference the user’s browsing history through the website. They show the current location of the user and the previous locations they have visited, allowing them to easily navigate between them.
  • Of attributes or categories. They are the breadcrumbs that are commonly used in online stores.

Advantages of applying breadcrumbs on my website

Implementing breadcrumbs provides many benefits to a website, among which we can highlight:

Improve user experience

The breadcrumbs serve as a navigation guide for users, facilitating them to retrace their steps, easily advance through the different levels of the page, and always be located within the structure of the web. All of this makes your user experience that much more satisfying.

They make the work of Google bots easier

With the breadcrumbs, an extra element is added to facilitate the crawling and understanding on the part of the search engines. The structure of the breadcrumbs, the use of keywords, and the anchor texts that are used in the language offer valuable information so that bots can understand the architecture, theme, and content of the web.

They increase navigation time in website

As the web is more usable with breadcrumbs, users will be able to navigate easily and will stay longer on the site by always having alternatives where to go .

Shown in SERPs

Breadcrumbs, if well implemented with the use of structured data, will make them appear on Google’s results pages, increasing the number of site visits considerably.

Low implementation cost

Applying the breadcrumbs on a website is inexpensive. It can even be done at no cost if you use WordPress thanks to the existence of free plugins to manage them.

They help in user loyalty and conversions

Breadcrumbs are a very interesting element for digital marketing loyalty and conversion strategies. They add a specific mechanism to facilitate user navigation, helping them to find what they are looking for in a simple way, and without the need to invest a lot of time and effort.

Thanks to the traces of breadcrumbs, a user of a virtual store can easily go to the category of an article to find another reference that is more interesting, preventing him from leaving the product card towards the Google results page (assuming that accessed the eCommerce directly from that tab, through Google).

How do I apply breadcrumbs to my website correctly?

To get the most out of the breadcrumbs, you must implement them in a correct and visible way for users.

We offer you a series of recommendations so that you can apply breadcrumbs effectively on your website, blog, or eCommerce.

  • The best location to place the breadcrumbs is at the top, just below the main menu, since users are used to being there (in online stores, above all).
  • You must apply the breadcrumbs in all the URLs that make up the website, except on the home page or home.
  • Avoid making the breadcrumbs too big. The usual is four or five levels.
  • Breadcrumbs need to be read from left to right, just like normal Western reading. Otherwise, users will be confused.
  • Use complete keywords, avoiding abbreviating them or using ellipsis.
  • Take advantage of the anchor texts of the links to reinforce the keywords.

SEO plugins with which I can apply breadcrumbs in WordPress

For those who use the WordPress CMS to manage their website, it is easy to implement breadcrumbs thanks to the different existing plugins. With these add-ons, many aspects of the plug-ins can be configured and optimized without the need for technical knowledge.

Among the main plugins to manage the breadcrumbs of a website we can highlight:

For those who use the WordPress CMS to manage their website, it is easy to implement breadcrumbs thanks to the different existing plugins. With these add-ons, many aspects of the plug-ins can be configured and optimized without the need for technical knowledge.

Among the main plugins to manage the breadcrumbs of a website we can highlight:

It is one of the most used WordPress plugins for breadcrumb management. It has many options to customize the breadcrumbs and incorporates a preconfigured widget to easily implement them in the desired area of the page.

Other interesting options that this plugin incorporates are the ability to hide the breadcrumbs from the home page or to reverse the order of the links.

Using breadcrumbs on a WordPress page is very simple with the use of plugins. The results obtained after implementing this element will be a website with greater usability that will offer a good user experience, improving its web positioning.

The breadcrumbs should always be used as a compliment and not as a substitute for the other navigation elements of a website, such as the main menu, side menus, or internal linking.