What Are Breadcrumbs in SEO?

Leighton Emmons
June 26, 2023
12 Minute
image featuring breadcrumbs in SEO
Jump to Section

Breadcrumbs are an essential component of SEO and website design. They provide users with a better navigation experience, while also helping search engine crawlers understand the structure of a website. Breadcrumbs consist of short links that appear at the top or bottom of pages in order to help visitors orient themselves within a website. When implemented correctly, breadcrumbs can significantly improve user experience and have positive implications for SEO performance. In this article, we will explore different types of breadcrumbs, their benefits for navigation, advantages for SEO and how they should be implemented on WordPress websites following best practices.

Key Takeaways

  • Breadcrumbs are an important component of website design and navigation.
  • They improve user experience and can also enhance SEO performance.
  • Breadcrumbs display the current page's position within the website hierarchy and reduce bounce rate.
  • There are three types of breadcrumbs: location-based, attribute-based, and hierarchical breadcrumbs.

Types of Breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs are typically divided into three categories: location-based, attribute-based and hierarchical breadcrumbs. Location-based breadcrumbs enable users to navigate the website with a visual representation of their current position in the website's structure. Attribute-based breadcrumbs offer users a visualization of different attributes associated with an item on the page. Hierarchy-based breadcrumbs show how each page is connected to other pages in the website's hierarchy. All three types of breadcrumbs are beneficial for both user experience and search engine optimization (SEO).

For ecommerce websites, having an easy navigation system is essential in order to improve user experience and boost sales. Breadcrumb navigation can help customers find what they need quickly by providing them with a visual map that leads them through the site's structure. This type of navigation also helps search engines understand which pages are related and how important they are for SEO purposes, as it provides context about each page's place within the overall hierarchy.

By using location-, attribute-, or hierarchy- based breadcrumb navigation systems, digital marketers can ensure improved usability for potential customers while improving their website's visibility on search engine results pages. As such, implementing any form of breadcrumb navigation can be very beneficial for both customer satisfaction and SEO performance.

Benefits for Navigation

Navigation is improved for users when breadcrumbs are utilized, as they provide a visible trail that allows backtracking and allow for quicker access to higher-level pages. For example, a study conducted in 2018 showed that visitors of websites who used breadcrumbs were 23 percent more likely to return than those who did not. Breadcrumbs also offer an SEO advantage by helping search engine bots crawl the site faster and index content better. This can make it easier to find links on sites with large amounts of content, allowing users to save time when searching.

In addition, breadcrumb elements are beneficial because they provide a clear path for users, especially those new to the website. With easy-to-follow guidance at every step of navigation, even first time users can quickly understand how the site works and find what they're looking for without getting lost or confused. This helps create a positive user experience which encourages people to come back and explore further in the future.

The use of breadcrumbs also makes it easier for users returning from another page within a website or coming from outside sources via referring links or search engine results pages (SERPs). Users no longer have to start from the homepage if they already know where they want to go; instead, they can easily jump right into their desired destination while still being able to see the big picture of where they are within the site structure.

SEO Advantages

Utilizing breadcrumb elements can offer an SEO advantage by helping search engine bots crawl the site faster and index content better. Breadcrumbs also provide a structure that helps visitors navigate easily through websites or applications. This type of navigation trail consists of links that usually go in a hierarchical order, indicating the page's position within the website or application. By adding this type of navigational element to a website, it can help improve user experience which is beneficial for SEO. Similarly, rich snippets create an additional layer of information about webpages in SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) which can have positive impacts on click-through rates and organic rankings. Breadcrumbs are also very useful for creating these rich snippets as they allow more accurate description of webpages' structure and content with fewer coding errors. All these advantages demonstrate how important using breadcrumb elements in websites can be for improving SEO performance. With proper implementation, breadcrumbs could significantly increase visibility and traffic from search engines while providing numerous benefits for navigation purposes as well.

Implementing in WordPress

Integrating breadcrumb elements into a WordPress website can provide numerous benefits for improved SEO performance and enhanced user experience. Breadcrumbs, or navigation trails, are an essential element of any website's coding structure. This type of coding helps create a strong sense of orientation on the site for users and offers many advantages in terms of SEO.

The primary advantage to implementing breadcrumb navigation is that it provides a logical path which search engine bots can easily follow as they crawl through the page hierarchy. They also help reduce bounce rates by providing clear navigational paths between pages, making it easier for users to find what they're looking for quickly. Furthermore, adding internal links between pages with related content allows search engine crawlers to discover and index more content within the website. This helps boost rankings in search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo!

Breadcrumbs can also be used to enhance user experience on websites by giving visitors a sense of their location within the site's structure. Additionally, with the addition of schema markup using breadcrumb microdata, individual breadcrumbs may even show up in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). This additional exposure often results in higher click-through rates from organic search traffic. As such, when combined with other effective SEO strategies such as keyword optimization and link building campaigns, integrating breadcrumbs into WordPress websites has become an essential part of any successful SEO strategy today.

Best Practices

When it comes to website optimization, weaving a web of effective breadcrumb navigation can provide numerous benefits for enhanced user experience and improved SEO performance. Breadcrumbs are navigational features that allow users to track the path they have taken on a website by displaying the categories or pages they visit in order. This allows visitors to understand their current location on the site and navigate back to previous sections with ease, creating a sense of familiarity and connection with the page. For SEO purposes, breadcrumbs create internal links which can be optimized for targeted keywords, helping search engines better understand the content hierarchy of a webpage.

When implementing breadcrumbs in WordPress websites, including on-page SEO services, it is recommended to follow best practices, which involve using plugins like Yoast or utilizing built-in WooCommerce breadcrumbs. It is crucial to pay attention to settings such as the product category structure to ensure accurate breadcrumb representation and prevent duplicate breadcrumbs from appearing on multiple pages. Path-based breadcrumbs are more precise and offer a superior user experience compared to hierarchical ones or generic SEO breadcrumb displays.

Furthermore, developers should ensure that all navigation elements, including breadcrumbs, are clearly visible with good contrast. This allows users to easily click through different sections without feeling overwhelmed by excessive design elements or distracting colors. By adhering to these guidelines, you can optimize the effectiveness of breadcrumbs in your WordPress website, enhancing both the user experience and on-page SEO performance.

Using well designed breadcrumb navigation as part of an overall SEO strategy can help drastically improve visibility and search engine rankings for your website's content. While there may be some technical challenges involved in setting up these navigational features correctly, making sure this feature is implemented properly has great potential for enhancing user engagement while also improving organic reach across different platforms.

Types and Design

Incorporating visually appealing and descriptive breadcrumb navigation into a website's design can help create an intuitive user experience. Breadcrumbs are a type of secondary navigation system, often used in websites with deep hierarchical structures. There are two main types of breadcrumbs: history-based breadcrumbs, which track the user's movement through the site; and search snippets, which display relevant content from within the current page or post. Additionally, SEO breadcrumb blocks may be used to highlight certain features, such as bounce rate and average time on page in search results.

Effective website design must include a well-designed breadcrumb navigation system that is both aesthetically pleasing and highly functional. This includes making sure that all necessary information about each page is properly included in the trail of 'breadcrumbs'. Furthermore, it should also be structured according to technologies such as HTML5 and microdata formats like schema markup for nifty breadcrumbs and better performance in search engine rankings. Content within these areas should be concise yet descriptive so users can quickly assess what they are looking at before clicking further down the trail of 'breadcrumbs'.

Breadcrumbs provide an important navigational aid for visitors to find their way around websites easily without getting lost or overwhelmed by too much content on any one page. Understanding how this simple tool works is key to creating an effective website structure that helps improve both user experience and SEO performance. By taking care to ensure that all required elements are integrated correctly into the website design, marketers can ensure their sites rank higher in search engine results pages while providing a positive overall browsing experience for visitors.

Why Breadcrumbs Matter

The importance of breadcrumb navigation for website design, including global SEO services, cannot be overstated, as it provides a crucial navigational aid to users and helps improve search engine rankings. Breadcrumbs, when implemented effectively, are an impactful strategy for creating a clear path through the content of a website, making it easier for visitors to find their way around. Furthermore, breadcrumbs can significantly enhance SEO performance by assisting search engines in better understanding the structure of the site's content. This improved comprehension enables search engines to present more relevant results in response to user queries, thus benefiting both the user experience and the overall visibility of the website in global search engine rankings.

Breadcrumbs also provide valuable information about the current page's position within the overall hierarchy or structure of a website. By displaying this information in an easily accessible manner, they enable visitors to quickly jump back up levels if needed and make navigating pages much simpler. This is especially useful on large sites with complex structures that would otherwise be difficult to traverse without assistance.

In addition, breadcrumb trails often appear prominently in organic search results which can attract additional attention from potential visitors and lead them directly into specific areas of a website where desired items may be found. As such, implementing breadcrumb navigation is essential for any serious webmaster who wishes to ensure that their site runs smoothly and performs well when ranked against competitors in major search engine algorithms.

Adding Breadcrumbs to Website

Integrating breadcrumbs into a website can enhance the user experience and result in improved SEO rankings. Breadcrumbs are navigational links that appear at the top of webpages, typically below the page title. When used properly they enable users to easily explore related pages within a website, resulting in more clicks and visits to multiple pages on the site. Moreover, breadcrumbs also help search engines better understand how a website's content is organized and interconnected, which increases visibility for those searching for relevant information.

Here are three reasons why adding breadcrumbs to your website can be beneficial: 1. Breadcrumbs help improve user navigation by providing contextual clues about where users are when navigating a website; 2. They provide an additional feature for users to utilize when exploring content on a webpage; and 3. Search engine bots rely on them to identify connections between webpages, which helps with crawling as well as indexing related information more efficiently.

In addition to improving usability and helping search engine bots crawl websites faster, breadcrumb trails can also reduce bounce rate due to their ability to direct users towards other pages within the same domain or topic area. Furthermore, because each page has its own unique URL that contains keywords from that page's title or heading text, it allows search engines to distinguish between similar webpages and rank them accordingly when presenting results based on relevance.


Breadcrumbs provide websites with a way to navigate pages more easily, while maintaining an organized structure. Utilizing this system is advantageous for both users and search engine crawlers. Through the implementation of breadcrumbs, sites can improve their appearance, organization and user experience. Furthermore, with proper implementation of breadcrumbs within SEO strategies, sites are able to increase visibility and gain higher rankings on search engine result pages (SERPs). Metaphorically speaking, breadcrumbs act as signposts that guide website visitors along the path to finding what they are looking for. With improved navigation and optimization capabilities, it is clear why using breadcrumbs on websites has become an invaluable asset in digital marketing today.


What are the main differences between types of breadcrumbs?

Breadcrumbs, a navigational aid used by website visitors, come in various forms such as hierarchical or flat. Flat breadcrumbs provide a clearer visual path of where the visitor is on the website whereas hierarchical breadcrumbs offer more intricate links between pages. For example, picture a maze - flat breadcrumbs are like holding up a map to help you find your way out while hierarchical breadcrumbs are like an explorer's trail of bread crumb clues.

How long does it take to implement breadcrumbs in WordPress?

Implementing breadcrumbs in WordPress can take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour, depending on the complexity of the website. It is important to ensure that all links are correctly set up and connected to each other. Optimizing for SEO should be taken into consideration as well.

How do breadcrumbs affect a website's SEO performance?

Breadcrumbs are a navigational aid that help website visitors find content faster, while also providing search engines with data to understand the structure of a website. This can positively affect SEO performance by improving visibility as well as reducing crawl errors and page depth.

Are breadcrumbs necessary for a website's navigation?

Breadcrumbs are an essential navigational tool for website visitors. They provide helpful cues to users, allowing them to easily track their location within the site hierarchy and efficiently navigate between pages. As a result, breadcrumbs can be invaluable for improving user experience and website SEO performance.

How can I make sure I'm using the best practices for implementing breadcrumbs?

To ensure best practices for implementing breadcrumbs, one must consider the website's navigation structure and layout, as well as how the user flows through the site. Coincidentally, this is also a major factor in optimizing SEO. Breadcrumbs can be used to improve both UX and SEO performance, making them an important element of any website.

Learn More: How Much Does SEO Cost in Singapore?

Ready to collaborate?

Get a free SEO audit, strategy, and consultation to see what we’re all about.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.