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Mastering Breadcrumb Navigation: Examples and Best Practices for Optimal UI and SEO Results

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Mastering Breadcrumb Navigation: Examples and Best Practices for Optimal UI and SEO Results

Blog / Mastering Breadcrumb Navigation: Examples and Best Practices for Optimal UI and SEO Results

Mastering Breadcrumb Navigation: Examples and Best Practices for Optimal UI and SEO Results

Breadcrumbs navigation is an important element of website design and usability. Breadcrumbs provide a clear path for users to navigate through a website, allowing them to easily understand where they are about the rest of the site.

How Does Breadcrumbs Navigation Help?

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From a user experience perspective, breadcrumbs help to reduce the number of clicks a user needs to find the content they are looking for, making the navigation process more efficient and less frustrating. This further leads to:

  • Higher User Engagement
  • Longer Session Durations
  • Increased Conversion Rates
  • More information on search engines
  • Improves rankings and visibility
  • Enhances user experience

Breadcrumb navigation refers to a series of clickable links displayed on a website that shows the path a user has taken to reach their current page. These links are usually placed near the top of the page.

The importance of breadcrumb navigation lies in two key areas:

  • User experience – Breadcrumbs improve the user experience by providing an easy and clear navigation pathway. Users can quickly understand their location within the website and easily backtrack if needed.
  • SEO benefits – Breadcrumbs SEO contributes to better SEO because they help search engines like Google understand the structure of your website and how pages are related. This can result in better rankings and more traffic to your site.

In this blog, we will explore the different types of breadcrumbs, the advantages of using them, and how to implement breadcrumbs on your WordPress site. Before that, it’s important to understand the concept of breadcrumb navigation with examples clearly.

What is the Right Time to Use Breadcrumb Navigation?

Not all websites require breadcrumbs SEO as they are only useful for sites with a deep site structure. A deep site structure involves multiple categories that further branch out into subcategories, which then lead to individual pages on your site. E-commerce websites are a typical example of such sites, where different products are grouped into multiple levels of categories. Conversely, if your website has a flat architecture, with every page only one click away from the homepage, using breadcrumbs is unnecessary as they will not provide any navigational value to users.

Various Types of Breadcrumb Navigation

Breadcrumb navigation can take on different forms depending on the type of website and user needs.

Hierarchy-Based Breadcrumbs: These align with the website architecture or hierarchy. Target’s website displays this type of breadcrumb, starting with the top-level category and progressing through specific subcategories. This is helpful for users who want to navigate back up the hierarchy to explore other options.

Attribute-Based Breadcrumbs: It generates a dynamic trail based on the filters applied by users. They are commonly used in e-commerce websites, such as the example from Office Depot, where they are combined with Hierarchy-Based Breadcrumbs.

Path-Based Breadcrumbs: These display the unique path users took to arrive at a particular page. However, instead of listing the entire path, it is often in the form of a back button. This type of breadcrumb, as seen on Adidas’s website, is not as popular as it merely serves the same function as the back button in the browser.

Best Practices for Breadcrumb Navigation

When creating breadcrumb navigation for your website, it’s important to follow some best practices. First and foremost, ensure that your breadcrumbs are easy to comprehend and read. Avoid using technical language or abbreviations and instead, use clear and concise language.

Moreover, for breadcrumbs on the website, it is important to maintain consistency across your website in terms of the format and structure of your breadcrumbs. This will help users navigate your website with ease and understand the breadcrumb trail.

Lastly, ensure that your breadcrumbs are positioned in a prominent location on your website. Typically, breadcrumbs are placed at the top of the page, above or below the main navigation. This will make them more visible and easier for users to locate and utilise.

What are the Key Advantages of Breadcrumb Navigation?

  • Helps create a better user experience: Breadcrumbs enhance the user experience by helping them easily navigate your site and find relevant content, which in turn encourages browsing. For instance, imagine a user lands on an e-commerce product page via a Google search but the product doesn’t meet their needs. Improved breadcrumbs’ UI and UX means the users will be able to navigate back to view other products within the same category.
  • Better UX: Breadcrumbs enhance the user experience by minimizing the steps required for users to navigate back up the site hierarchy. On a website lacking breadcrumbs, users may need to click the back button multiple times or navigate several levels to move back up in the hierarchy. They simplify the process by allowing users to return with a single click by selecting a link in the breadcrumb trail.
  • Internal Linking: By creating internal links across pages and categories on your website, breadcrumbs help to improve the internal linking structure of your site, which in turn enhances its crawlability. Search engines can use the breadcrumb links to better understand your site’s structure and discover deeper pages within it. This can improve the indexability of your site, which is essential if you want your pages to appear in search results and attract traffic to your site.
  • Improved Appearance: Using breadcrumbs can also enhance the appearance of your website in Google search results, as they appear above the title tag and meta description. Pages with breadcrumb trails in search results give users a clear idea of the site’s structure and the path they’ll follow clicking the link. It’s essential to implement breadcrumb structured data markup to ensure that Google recognizes and displays your breadcrumbs in search results.

What are Some of the Most Effective and Useful Breadcrumbs SEO Best Practices?

It’s important to consider a few things when implementing breadcrumbs on your website:

  • Breadcrumbs are only useful if your site structure has multiple levels. If your website has a single-level structure, then breadcrumbs may not add much value to your visitors.
  • Breadcrumbs should not replace your primary navigation menu. Instead, they should be used as an additional way for users to navigate around your website.
  • Use separators, such as >, →, or /, between the individual levels in your breadcrumb trail.
  • Don’t include a link to the current page in the breadcrumb trail, since users are already on that page.
  • Keep the design of your breadcrumbs simple and unobtrusive, so that they are useful without distracting the reader from the content of the page.

Learn to Add Breadcrumbs to Your Site Using These Tips

If you’re using WordPress and want to add breadcrumbs to your website, here’s how you can do it.

  • Check if your WordPress theme supports breadcrumbs. Some themes come with built-in support for breadcrumbs.
  • If your theme doesn’t have this feature, you can use a plugin called Yoast SEO. To install it, go to “Plugins” and search for “Yoast” to find and install the plugin.
  • After installing the plugin, you’ll need to add a small piece of code to the header.php file of your theme. However, this step is best done by someone with technical expertise to avoid any issues.
  • Copy the code, make changes to the file and save it by clicking the “Update File” button.
  • Go to “Yoast SEO” and select “Settings” from the sidebar. Then click on “Advanced” and choose “Breadcrumbs”. A form will appear where you can configure your breadcrumbs based on how you want them to appear on your website.
  • Turn on the “Enable breadcrumbs for your theme” option found at the bottom of the form

Tips for Designing Breadcrumb Navigation

When it comes to designing breadcrumb navigation for your website, there are several important tips to follow. Firstly, ensure that your breadcrumbs are written in clear and concise language. Avoid using technical terms or abbreviations that could confuse your visitors.

It’s also important to maintain consistency in the format and structure of your breadcrumbs across your entire site. This helps to ensure that users can quickly understand and use their breadcrumbs no matter which page they are on.

Finally, be sure to place your breadcrumbs in a prominent location on your website. Typically, they are located at the top of the page, either above or below the main navigation. This helps to make your breadcrumbs more noticeable and accessible to users.

Implementing Breadcrumb Navigation on Your Website

It is quite simple to implement breadcrumb navigation on your website. Numerous plugins and tools are accessible that can assist you in incorporating breadcrumb navigation on your site. Alternatively, you can create your breadcrumb navigation using HTML and CSS.

When adding breadcrumb navigation to your website, ensure that it matches the site’s design and layout. This will provide a professional appearance and make it user-friendly.

Breadcrumb Navigation and Mobile Optimization

In today’s world of escalating mobile device usage, optimising your website for mobile users is critical and breadcrumb navigation plays a significant role in it. It offers clear and concise navigation, making your site more mobile-friendly.

While creating breadcrumb navigation for mobile devices, it is crucial to ensure that it is user-friendly on small screens. This may entail utilising a distinct layout or design for your breadcrumbs on mobile devices.


To sum up, breadcrumb navigation is a valuable and significant navigation feature for websites. It can enhance the website’s user experience (UI) and improve search engine optimization (SEO) outcomes. By adhering to the recommended guidelines and integrating effective breadcrumb navigation on your site, you can enhance your site’s usability and user engagement.

Are you searching for a marketing agency? Traffic Radius will help you identify the right plugins and tools that can be utilised to add breadcrumb navigation or help you create your own using HTML and CSS. Our experts will also advise you on how to make the breadcrumb navigation user-friendly and consistent across different devices.

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