A breadcrumb trail is a tool that helps users navigate a website and appears in the form of a menu or single line at the top of the page. Breadcrumbs notify the user of the structure of the website, enabling them to return to the homepage after exploring the site’s pages.
There are three main types of breadcrumbs.
Location based breadcrumbs or ‘hierarchy’ breadcrumbs inform the user of where a page lies in the hierarchy of the website. These breadcrumbs allow a user to go to another page in a similar category to the one they are visiting.
Largely in the same vein as location based breadcrumbs, these breadcrumbs (otherwise known as ‘keyword’ or ‘dynamic’ breadcrumbs) use attributes or keywords to represent the page. These types of breadcrumbs are typically used for navigation on e-commerce pages.
The third type of breadcrumb, and most unpopular also known as the ‘history’ breadcrumb, simply shows the user the path they have taken to arrive at their current page.
These breadcrumbs are seldom used as they can become confusing to users and seem unnecessary when the 'back' button is a more efficient way to retrace steps.
Breadcrumbs are used as a helpful navigation tool on most websites; however, they are especially helpful for the following types of sites:
Breadcrumbs are important because they impact UX (User Experience). They enable a user to simply, quickly and efficiently navigate a website, without bombarding them with complicated choices.
Breadcrumbs are easily understandable due to their simplistic nature, and that lends itself to more positive actions. This is where SEO comes in.
Breadcrumbs also allow Google’s crawlers to gather more information about the website.
This means that users can get an understanding of a website’s hierarchy before even clicking the link.
When incorporating breadcrumbs into your web page, there a few things to bear in mind.
Still confused as to which breadcrumbs would be best for your site? Why not contact us and we could pair you with a team that can help.
Not quite ready for that? You could head over to our training courses to learn some of the tricks we recommend (and use ourselves!) that you could implement today!