Ever been to a forest and got lost?
Let’s just assume you didn’t because you are a true adventurer who left things to mark your footsteps while entering the forest so it would be easier to find your way back from it.
Now imagine a website like ours is a forest and you’re wandering in it enjoying informative articles to edify yourself and make the best out of your time. But how do you navigate your way out of this digital forest easily? With the help of Breadcrumbs. Yes, that’s the answer.
Let’s get inside the world of Breadcrumbs and know how they work.
What are Breadcrumbs?
Breadcrumbs are one of the most important parts of a website. Just like our forest example, breadcrumbs navigate the viewer’s steps on a website and tell the viewers which page of the website they are in. A breadcrumb is a small text path written on the top of any website’s page showing the user where they are on the website. On this very page where you are reading this article, you can see on top just below the main heading a line that says
“Home>Blog>What Are Breadcrumbs in the world of SEO”, this is what a Breadcrumb looks like.
But why is it called “Breadcrumbs”?
This name has been adapted from the tale of Hansel and Gretel where the two kids went inside a forest and while they were going in Hansel kept dropping little breadcrumbs to mark their footsteps so they could get out of the forest safely.
Types of Breadcrumbs
Don’t worry they are not called brown, white, or whole wheat Breadcrumbs. There are basically 3 main types of breadcrumbs with different objectives and styles. Adding breadcrumbs to a website is not as easy as buying your favorite bread from the nearest confectionery shop. One should only choose the breadcrumbs which suit his or her website the most. We have mentioned the 3 main types of breadcrumbs below.
● Hierarchy-based breadcrumbs: The most used and common type of breadcrumbs tells the viewer where they are on the website and how they can get back.
For example:- Home > Blog > Google Trends || Know all about it.
● Attribute-based breadcrumbs:- This type of breadcrumbs tell the user which pages they have clicked on to get to the webpage. It is mostly used in e-commerce websites such as Flipkart, Amazon, Koovs, etc.
For example :- Home > Electronics > Mobile accessories > Wireless ear plugs.
● History-based breadcrumbs:- This type of breadcrumbs shows which other pages the user has also been on to get to that very page.
For example :- Home > About us > Contact information > Blogs.
Benefits of breadcrumbs
After learning about what website breadcrumbs are and their types, let’s get to the benefits that come with using breadcrumbs and how they are a required element for any website’s growth.
● Breadcrumbs provide a better user experience:- Breadcrumbs improves the user experience of a website by making it easier for the reader to navigate through the website easily without wasting a minute of their time. If you want to read about a company’s about section and click on it through the menu bar, the breadcrumbs will appear and help you get back to the home page with just one click on them.
● Improve your site ranking:- Apart from user experience breadcrumbs also makes Google favor you a lot. Google uses breadcrumbs to categorize the content and in 2018 Google added breadcrumbs to the results pages which increased the significance of breadcrumbs even more.
● Provides easy access to the content of your page:- Consistency is very good for a website and keeps the users attached to your content. Breadcrumbs stay in the same place on the page every time you look, this consistency keeps the users comfortable and they know where to click for their specific queries.
How to implement breadcrumbs?
Breadcrumbs are easy to implement and this important navigation element can be added to the website with a little bit of effort. Platforms like WordPress can be very helpful for you in that matter where you can structure your posts into categories and use plugins to use that category information to generate breadcrumbs. Lookout for plugins or built-in features of the platform you’re posting content or use WordPress for your website architecture.
Information is baseless without facts and examples supporting it. One can only grasp an emotion, idea, and thought properly when backed up with perfect examples. So let’s have a look at a few examples of breadcrumbs.
● Walmart:- When we talk about a website with a lot of content, the thought of any e-commerce website struck the mind. Walmart is one the perfect example of it as their website has thousands of products available online and every product comes with its product page under specific categories and sub-categories. Their attribute-based breadcrumbs don’t take much of the page’s space and they can be found easily even amid all the content.
● NASA:- NASA has all sorts of content on their website for the viewers. From informational blogs to press releases and newly released images from space to live streams. It can get really hard to find the content you are looking for in such a huge website with content in abundance. This is why they have a larger category to define
topics and depict the content available in them.
● Nestle:- Nestle has done a tremendous job in their breadcrumbs implementation. To avoid confusion their breadcrumbs are of different colors, divided by the ability of the breadcrumbs to take the users to another link or not. They have 2 types of breadcrumbs, one which is a link and takes the users to a different page when
clicked and the other is non-link breadcrumbs which don’t take the users anywhere.
● H&M:- H&M has a very simple and elegant breadcrumb which is placed on the center of their website and has a forward slash as a divider line. Their breadcrumb is not only elegant and simple but also very useful for the users. This type of navigation method is requisite in e-commerce websites.
These were a few examples of breadcrumbs implementation by various big corporations. Even for big brands with an unrivalled market presence, it gets necessary to use such tools to get an upper hand over their competitors online.
Breadcrumbs implementation can be very useful for any company’s image-building because at last, only user experience defines whether your company will rise above the clouds or burn to ashes.
Breadcrumbs have always been proven to be very useful from time to time, both for the users and the creator of the website. Using this easy trick can help your business bloom and produce good results in terms of more clicks on your website.
Some programmers have also termed this amazing tool as “Cookie-crumb” to describe the navigation design.
It is crucial to put breadcrumbs on your website with great care as the positioning of the breadcrumbs also affects the user’s mind and ultimately affects the user experience. It has been shown in studies that the location of the breadcrumbs on the page affects the users. When breadcrumbs are placed below the title of the page, it gets more clicks as compared to breadcrumbs placed on top of the page.