By Zieliński Jerzy

Breadcrumbs – crumb navigation

Google loves logically structured sites – such sites are easier to index, and therefore better ranked by the search engine. One of the important elements Navigating the site are so-called. breadcrumbs in Polish. It’s a figurative name probably derived from the fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel, who scattered bread crumbs behind them to later find their way back home. This comparison may sound absurd, but that is precisely the role of breadcrumbs – to show the user’s path on the site.

What are breadcrumbs?

The crumbs are usually located at the top of the page and show where the user is. Breadcrumbs are useful not only from an SEO perspective, but also from a UI and UX perspective, as they make it easier to see where we are on a page or to navigate to the homepage or an overarching subpage to find more information.

Logically organized crumb navigation looks like this, for example:

breadcrumbs local positioning

From an SEO perspective, breadcrumbs show indexing robots how a page is structured.

Types of breadcrumbs

The example above shows crumb navigation created based on location. In this case, breadcrumbs show the hierarchy of the page. This way, the user knows where he or she is on the page, and if the content of a sub-page does not satisfy him or her, he or she can easily go back to the parent sub-page and review the other products, offer sub-pages, etc.

Another example of such crumbs can be found, for example, on the blog:

breadcrumbs blog
https://pieknesny.pl/blog/ciemna-czy-jasna-ktora-posciel-jest-bardziej-praktyczna

Another type of crumb navigation, also relatively common, are breadcrumbs based on attributes. The navigation here shows what attributes (consciously or not) the user has selected.

Such crumbs are often used in online stores, as attributes can be color or size, for example. This takes into account the filters selected by the user to find the most relevant search results.

breadcrumbs attributes 1
https://www.olx.pl/d/moda/ubrania-damskie/sukienki/q-sukienka-cekiny/

Just use the filter to refine your search to Bydgoszcz and the breadcrumbs are already changing:

breadcrumbs attributes 2
https://www.olx.pl/d/moda/ubrania-damskie/sukienki/bydgoszcz/q-sukienka-cekiny/

A third type of crumb navigation is path-based breadcrumbs. In this case, the crumbs represent the sub-pages in the order in which the user visited them. However, such a solution is very rarely used, because it does not present an orderly structure of the page, but simply a random order of browsing. Path-based navigation doesn’t make much sense, because to go back to the previous sub-page you viewed, just click the Back button.

How to add breadcrumbs in WordPress?

If you’re optimizing your site for SEO, it’s definitely worth keeping breadcrumbs in mind. WordPress is the most popular CMS in the world, so I will focus on it.

If your site is solidly made, that is, there is no clutter in the code, creating a crumb navigation should not be a problem. WordPress mainly stands for plugins, so there is also a plugin to implement breadcrumbs –
Breadcrumb NavXT
.

Remember, however, that the more plugins you install, the more load you put on the site, so it’s always worth considering whether a plugin is actually necessary. If you are already using Yoast SEO or Rank Math, you can use them to create a crumb navigation.

In Rank Mat, all you need to do from the cockpit is to go to the Main Settings of the plugin:

rankmath crumbs 1

Then go into Crumbs and turn on the paths function:

rankmath crumbs 2

If you don’t see the Crumbs tab, once again click Rank Math in the sidebar and make sure you are using Advanced Mode:

rankmath crumbs 3

A more advanced way is to add the code yourself, instead of using a ready-made solution. If breadcrumbs added with the plugin do not work on your site, please contact me. I work with developers to optimize for SEO and create SEO-friendly websites.

Not just indexing robots – breadcrumbs vs. UI and UX

Crumbs are useful in terms of SEO because they organize the structure of the page. This way, the path is already displayed from the Google search results, and the user is immediately taken to the sub-page of interest:

breadcrumbs search results

The more your site meets the needs of a user typing a specific phrase into a search engine, the better it is ranked by Google.

However, website optimization is not just about robots, but mostly about people. One way to improve the user experience is through breadcrumbs. UX is getting better as potential customers can navigate your site more comfortably and its structure becomes clearer to them. This is also linked to the breadcrumbs UI – the user quickly knows where he or she is on the page and can quickly go back to the home page or parent sub-page – just click the appropriate crumb navigation element.

Want to improve the UI and UX of your prospects and optimize your site for SEO? Be sure to think about crumb navigation! Are you looking for a contractor to take care of your domain from the technical side and implement breadcrumbs on WordPress or another CMS? Call or write – I will respond as soon as possible.

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