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What Are Breadcrumbs? in SEO

What Are Breadcrumbs and How Do They Help Your SEO?

What Are Breadcrumbs and How Do They Help Your SEO?

Breadcrumbs play a crucial yet often overlooked role. Much like their fairy tale namesake, breadcrumbs in SEO guide visitors through the intricate paths of a website, enhancing user experience (UX) and contributing significantly to search engine optimisation efforts.

What Are Breadcrumbs in SEO?

They are navigational aids on a website. They are typically found at the top of a page or just below the navigation bar and allow users to understand and trace their journey from the homepage to their current location on the site. This feature not only aids in navigation but also has important implications for SEO.

Types of Breadcrumbs

  1. Hierarchy-Based Breadcrumbs

    These are the most common, showing the user’s location in the site structure and the path back to the homepage.

  2. Attribute-Based Breadcrumbs

    Often used in e-commerce sites, these display attributes like the product category, size, or colour.

  3. History-Based Breadcrumbs

    These trace the user’s navigational path, similar to a browser history.

Why Are Breadcrumbs Important for SEO?

  1. Improves User Experience

    It simplifies navigation, reducing the likelihood of visitors getting lost and increasing the chance of them exploring other sections of the site.

  2. Enhances Site Ranking

    It assists Google in categorizing and contextualizing content. They are displayed in search results, making listings more attractive and informative, potentially boosting click-through rates.

  3. Increases Onsite Duration

    By providing an easy navigation path, it can decrease bounce rates. A well-structured breadcrumb trail encourages users to visit additional pages rather than leaving the site.

  4. Improves Crawlability

    It links pages together in a logical hierarchy, aiding search engines in indexing and understanding the site structure.

Implementing Breadcrumbs Effectively

  1. Mobile-Friendly Design: Ensure they are easily clickable and visible on mobile devices.
  2. Use of Schema Markup: Implement breadcrumb schema to increase the chances of rich snippets in search results, enhancing visibility.
  3. Visibility and Accessibility: They should be prominently displayed and easy to use.
  4. Simplicity and Clarity: Keep the trail clear and straightforward, avoiding unnecessary complexity.
  5. Consistency: The placement of breadcrumbs should be consistent across the website.
  6. Alignment with URL Structure: The trail should reflect the website’s URL structure to reinforce the site hierarchy for both users and search engines.

Best Practices and Common Mistakes

While implementing breadcrumbs, it’s important to avoid common pitfalls:

  • Ensure they are visible and accessible to users.
  • Avoid including the current page in the breadcrumb trail.
  • Keep the design simple and intuitive.
  • Ensure consistent placement across the site.
  • Align them with the site’s URL structure.


Breadcrumbs in SEO are more than just a navigational tool; they are a strategic element that enhances user experience and supports SEO objectives. By implementing them effectively, you can improve site usability, encourage deeper exploration by visitors, and provide clear paths that search engines can follow to better understand and rank your content. As digital landscapes continue to evolve, the importance of well-structured, user-friendly websites becomes increasingly paramount, making them an essential ingredient in your SEO recipe. Curious to know more about our SEO services? Contact us today!

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