Know the Utility of Breadcrumb Navigation From an SEO Standpoint

November 22, 2023 | Technical SEO

What are breadcrumbs SEO? Are breadcrumbs good for SEO? Why do you need breadcrumbs on your website?

These are a few common questions that are always asked in the world of digital marketing. Well, we are here to answer them for you!

Breadcrumb is quite a familiar term in the SEO world. It is essentially practiced by digital marketers to improve the viability of the website. 

When it comes to streamlining the flow of information, offering customers a breadcrumb navigation pathway is no less than icing on the cake. 

But does it necessarily impact every user’s journey on your site? If yes, what other methods can be practiced to enhance the user experience? How do we track and measure the progress report after implementing this strategy?

We are going to learn all these things in this blog. Let’s proceed!

What are Breadcrumbs? Know the Different Categories of Breadcrumb Navigation

The breadcrumb is a text path located at the top of the web page that indicates the exact location of the website where the user is navigating. 

This image shows the user’s path from the homepage to the current page (i.e., Recipes):

Breadcrumb navigation of website

If the user wishes to backtrace their footsteps, they can do it quicker than clicking the back button multiple times.

Now, breadcrumb does not necessarily define the journey of the users on your website. Some might not have followed the trail and directly clicked on the given recipe link to get to this page. 

Let’s know about breadcrumbs categories now.

Hierarchy-based

Hierarchy-based breadcrumbs for SEO are a representation of the site’s structure. They help users navigate your site’s hierarchy and understand its levels.

Attribute-based

Attribute-based breadcrumbs for SEO are most useful for e-commerce sites. They list the categories (or tags) specific to a particular page or mostly the products.

Path-based

Path-based breadcrumbs Google SEO displays the pages a user visits to arrive at a particular page. 

How Does Breadcrumb Navigation Benefit a Website? 

After knowing about the breadcrumbs and their categories, it’s time to get some details of the benefits of the breadcrumb strategy to your website. 

So, the significant and fundamental benefits of breadcrumb strategy are: 

Easy Navigation

Breadcrumbs SEO makes the navigation of the users easier than usual. Being the navigational aid for the users, they encourage the visitors to explore the website. This consequently boosts the conversion ratio and revenue generation. Fundamentally, you have to offer a good website experience to the users. 

Further, to check the SEO performance of your website, you can use the website analyzer feature of RankWatch and check the necessary parameters like loading time, page speed, on-page SEO factors, meta tags, and much more.

RankWatch site audit

After working on these parameters, you will get the assurance that the functionality of your website is intact and you are offering a streamlined experience to the users. 

Better Customer Experience

A good website architecture gives an enhanced and convenient experience to the users. It gives them a clear idea of the website section they are navigating. They hold a very clear understanding of the services, products, home page, category, sub-category, and so on. 

Other than that, you can use the SEO IQ feature of RankWatch to strengthen the website architecture in a very similar way so that the visitor experience is phenomenally elevated.

RankWatch SEO IQ

It offers you countless significant insights like keywords, page elements, page speed, page size, Google featured snippets, content recommendation, word count, optimization status, and much more. 

You can further work on these parameters to improve the site structure and user experience of the customers. 

More Clicks

The breadcrumbs SEO of your website helps you get a higher number of clicks from the respective search engine. It basically makes the product and service page more structured, clean, and catchy. This will attract more clicks from varying search engines. 

Better User Retention/ Less Bounce rate

Breadcrumbs help users to visit other pages on your site easily, quickly, and smoothly. So, they encourage and keep first-time users on your site for a long time. The better structure of information retains the current customers and mitigates the bounce rate of your website. 

Know the 5 Best Practices of Breadcrumb SEO Navigation

5 best breadcrumb practices

Well, after knowing the benefits of breadcrumb navigation, you must know about some best practices to elevate the standard of your breadcrumb SEO navigation. 

Let’s find them out. 

Imply Breadcrumb SEO as the Primary Navigation

Don’t keep the breadcrumbing navigation an alternative to primary navigation. It will degrade the search quality of visitors across the entire website. Thus, your breadcrumbing strategy should be taken as a primary navigation strategy. 

Get Separators Between Each Level

Incorporating separate links in the breadcrumbing trail will upscale the readability aspect of the webpage content. You can also use arrows, greater than sign, or forward slash for the purpose. 

Don’t Interlink the Mid-Pages

Interlinking the mid-pages might influence the customers to click on the link, and eventually, they will end up visiting some other page, breaking the breadcrumbing trail. This can reduce the conversion rate as the visitor may get engaged on the other side where he has been routed. 

Keep a Regular Check on the Links

Get a regular site audit to keep a constant check on the site. You can use the site audit feature of RankWatch to identify the problems, errors, and URL issues. There’s no point in applying the breadcrumbing strategy for the pages dealing with broken and failed URL issues. 

The Site Audit feature of RankWatch can help you to keep a check on the broken breadcrumbs and make sure that they are fixed to work properly. It gives you insights like HTTP status code problems, duplicate page sets issues, title duplicity, canonical tags, page response time distribution, non-indexable pages, failed URLs, excluded URLs, non-HTML URLs, disallowed pages, and much more.

RankWatch site auditor

All these issues will somehow hamper the flow of your website’s breadcrumb navigation structure. 

Make the Breadcrumbs Mobile-Friendly

Most users visit your website via mobile devices. So, it is essential to keep the breadcrumb trail visible on mobile devices. 

You should make sure that it is readable and clickable, and at the same time, it should not occupy unnecessary space on the screen.

Well, to check the mobile-friendliness, you can use the mobile-friendly checker of RankWatch that is available for free to all users. 

You just need to log in to RankWatch, open the mobile-friendly checker, feed the website address in the given column, and click on run test. The tool, driven by its own AI algorithm, will generate the report within a second.

RankWatch mobile friendly checker

Further, you can work on your website to make it mobile-friendly so that the visitors are able to open the breadcrumbing link on their mobile phones, too. 

How To Add Breadcrumbs To Your WordPress Site?

After knowing the benefits of SEO in breadcrumbs, you must be thinking of adding them to your site.

If that’s the case, you are in the right place.

You can add breadcrumbs to WordPress sites either by using a plugin or coding it manually. 

Using SEO By Yoast Plugin

Yoast SEO is a popular WordPress plugin used for optimizing on-page SEO parameters. 

  1. To use it, install and activate the plugin.  
  2. Then, navigate to the Breadcrumbs tab of the Yoast SEO Plugin. Enable the breadcrumb feature by toggling the option to ‘enabled.’
  3. The default settings will work fine for most sites, but you can customize them if required. 
  4. Once you have configured the settings, click on ‘Save Changes.’ 
  5. There’s one more step after this. The breadcrumbs in SEO will show on your site when you add a small code to its header.

Yoast Plugin

Using Breadcrumb NavXT Plugin

Breadcrumb NavXT is another popular plugin for adding breadcrumbs in WordPress. The steps are simple to follow. 

  1. Install and activate the plugin. 
  2. Navigate to Settings and click on BreadcrumbNavXT to configure it. 
  3. While standard settings work fine for most websites, you can customize everything as per your needs. 


    NavXT plugin

  4. When you have customized the breadcrumbs, you need to add a small code to your site’s header to make them visible on your site.

Using NavXT plugin

Using WooCommerce Plugin

If you run an e-commerce site powered by WooCommerce, adding breadcrumbs to it is very convenient.

  1. You have to install and activate the WooCommerce Breadcrumbs plugin. 
  2. Navigate to Settings and select WC Breadcrumbs to add navigational links to your site.

Woocommerce plugin

Configure your breadcrumb trail and tick in the checkbox to enable breadcrumbs. It will show breadcrumbs on your site.

Coding It Yourself

If you don’t want to use plugins or are facing difficulty in using them, you can take the manual route.

You can add breadcrumbs to your site by using regular HTML tags.

Self coding

Generally, web admins stay away from taking this route. 

That’s because they have to add the breadcrumb HTML code for each page where they want it to appear manually. 

Final Thoughts

Breadcrumbs are great for user experience, not just on your website but also in the SERPs. SEO in Breadcrumb makes your website SEO-friendly, helping crawlers contextualize and categorize your site’s content.

So, you shouldn’t have second thoughts about enabling breadcrumbs on your site.

Share Your Thoughts

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