Dec 19 2018

Breadcrumbs For Users

Posted by Aj Aviado

Did you know that Hansel and Gretel were supposed to be abandoned in the forest by their (abysmally disappointing) parents. All because they were in a middle of some sort of medieval Germany era depression, and to avoid high costs of food, their plan was to leave their children in the forest.

Luckily, Hansel collected a lot of white pebbles which he used to leave a trail going back to their house. When the siblings were able to return, their parents were furious so, they tried that again the following morning. This time, instead of pebbles, Hansel used Breadcrumbs to try and leave a trail going home.

Unfortunately, the trail of bread were eaten by birds.

At this point, we can safely say that using food as a trail back to a location in an environment where wild animals are always present is a really bad idea. But we can’t blame them, they’re kids.

But do you know what a really good idea is? Using breadcrumbs in SEO.

In our modern digital marketing world, we also have ways of “leaving trails” so people won’t get lost. Why they decided with “Breadcrumbs” as a term to describe these things is a mystery. Because technically the fictional siblings first used Pebbles. But I guess food related words stuck more. It’s in all the songs, all the poems and even on every saying describing the action of leaving trails.

Going back to reality, Breadcrumbs in our world of SEO, are links that helps users track their path from the page they’re currently on back to the home page. It sort of looks like this:

Home > About Us > Services > Contact

Another example is something we see all the time. Like:

Main Product Page > Versions of the Product > Specific Product (where a user might be currently for example)

Basically, where ever you go within a website, you will always get cues on the path you’re at and how you can go and track your steps backwards towards the home page. Or just the one of the main pages.

That being said, once properly utilized, Breadcrumbs can greatly improve that infamous user experience. I understand that some of our business minded friends might not have the capacity to even understand UX, that’s okay. We’re here for you.

There are different types of Breadcrumbs. The main types are Location Breadcrumbs, Path Breadcrumbs and Attribute or otherwise known as Keyword Breadcrumbs. Let’s check them out one by one.

Location Breadcrumbs
– These are the types of breadcrumbs that are the most common today. Their purpose is to basically tell the position of a page within the site’s hierarchy.

Location Breadcrumbs

Path Breadcrumbs
– These are the types of breadcrumbs that shows the path of the user as they navigate the site.

Path breadcrumbs

Attribute / Keyword Breadcrumbs
– They’re like location breadcrumbs, the only difference is that instead of page titles, these types of breadcrumbs use keywords. (Mostly seen on e-commerce sites)

Attribute Breadcrumbs

^In the image above, you can see the Keywords / Attribute Breadcrumbs in action.

*All of these said, it’s actually healthier to just use the Location Breadcrumbs. Because, unfortunately, the other 2 versions of breadcrumbs usually causes duplication problems. Which is, we all should know by now, can destroy your campaign and life.

Breadcrumbs are actually very useful and helpful for users. They don’t only trace the path for the users, they also help in visiting deeper pages. This means that the user will get to go around the site better. Want to minimize bounce rate? Use breadcrumbs.

These also helps users understand the layout of the site a little more. This is a big thing.

All of this then helps in the overall SEO performance. Because users and visitors aren’t having such a bad time trying to go and navigate through the site, they stay more and go back to it more. Remember, if you want your visitors there on your site, make sure you don’t give them a hard time getting lost all the time because of all the pages.


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