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What are Breadcrumbs? | Definition, Types, Importance and Benefits in SEO

Last Updated : 29 Nov, 2023
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Breadcrumbs are a navigational feature for your website, and they may significantly improve user experience and search engine optimization. Breadcrumbs are an important part of every good website. They serve much more than a navigational tool that helps the user to locate where they are on the website.

What are Breadcrumbs?

Breadcrumbs are a website’s internal links that allow users to locate themselves on a website and how far they are from the homepage. They are generally found at the top of the website or just below the navigation bar.

Types of Breadcrumbs

There are three types of breadcrumbs that are commonly used:

1. Hierarchy-based breadcrumbs

The most popular kind of breadcrumbs, indicate to visitors where they are on the website and provide a link back to the main page.

For example Home > Courses > SEO for Beginners

2. Attribute-based breadcrumbs

This is generally used on e-commerce sites to show what attributes the user has clicked.

For example: Home > Clothes > Winter > Men

3. History-based breadcrumbs

Show users what other pages on the site they have visited, similar to a browser history.

For example, if you were searching for SEO news and read three articles, the breadcrumbs might look like this: Home > News 1 > News 2 > Current page

Importance of Breadcrumps

Breadcrumps plays a significant role in SEO, but some of the most common reason why it is important are as follows:

  • Enhanced User Experience (UX)
    • With the aid of breadcrumbs, visitors may quickly ascertain where they are in the structure of the website and return to earlier pages or relevant material with ease.
    • Breadcrumbs, especially for deeper pages within the website’s structure, lessen confusion and annoyance by clearly displaying the hierarchy of the website.
    • By offering a clear route to relevant material, breadcrumbs encourage visitors to delve further into the website, which may increase page visits and engagement.
  • Improved Search Engine Understanding
    • Breadcrumbs serve as structured data markup, providing search engines with valuable information about the website’s content organization and hierarchical relationships between pages.
    • Structured data helps search engines better understand and index the website’s content, enhancing the website’s visibility in search results.
  • Enhanced Internal Linking
    • Breadcrumbs act as internal links, distributing link equity and improving the overall link structure of the website.
    • A strong internal link structure can positively impact SEO and search engine rankings by distributing link authority and improving website crawl efficiency.
    • Breadcrumbs provide internal links to deeper pages within the website’s hierarchy, making these pages more accessible to search engines and users alike.
  • Overall SEO Impact
    • Breadcrumbs can lower bounce rates by improving user experience and streamlining navigation, which in turn encourages visitors to browse the page more thoroughly.
    • Rich snippets are search results that show more information about the website; breadcrumbs can help with this. User engagement and click-through rates can both be improved by these rich snippets.

On-site breadcrumps vs. Schema Markup Breadcrumps


On-site Breadcrumbs

Schema Markup Breadcrumbs


Enhance user navigation and provide visual cues of the website’s hierarchy.

Provide structured data to search engines to improve search results and rich snippets.


Implemented directly into the website’s HTML code.

Implemented using structured data markup language, such as JSON-LD, RDFa, or Microdata.


Visible to website visitors

Not visible to website visitors; only used by search engines

User Experience

Directly affects how easy for the visitor to browse the website

Indirectly impacts the user’s experience by influencing search results and rich snippets

SEO Benefit

Can improve user engagement and reduce bounce rates, which can indirectly impact SEO

Can improve search rankings and visibility by providing clear signals to search engines about the website’s structure


Complexity Relatively straightforward to implement, especially with plugins or templates

May require more technical expertise to implement correctly


Compatible with all Devices and browsers

Compatible with most search engines


Requires ongoing maintenance to ensure consistency and accuracy across the website

Relatively low-maintenance as it is implemented centrally

Benefits of using Breadcrumps

Some of the most common benefits of using Breadcrumps are as follows:

  • Enhanced User Experience (UX): Breadcrumbs provide a clear navigational path which allows the user to understand their current location within the website. This enhances UX by simplify navigation, and encourage users to explore deep into the website.
  • Reduced Bounce Rate: Breadcrumbs can effectively reduce bounce rates, by provide clear and simple navigation increases the engagement of the user and reducing the immediate bounces
  • Improved Search Engine Understanding: Breadcrumbs serve as an essential structured data markup, providing search engine with proper understanding of the website’s content structure and hierarchical relationships between pages.
  • Improved Mobile Experience: Breadcrumbs are especially valuable on mobile devices, where screen space is limited. They provide a convenient way to navigate and access deeper pages without requiring users to scroll up to the main navigation.
  • Enhanced Internal Linking: Breadcrumbs act as Internal links that joins relevant pages on your website. These internal links enhance your website’s overall link structure and spread link equity, both of which have a favourable effect on search engine optimisation and rankings.

How to add Breadcrumps?

Adding breadcrumbs to your website depends on the specific technology or content management system (CMS) you are using. Here’s a general overview of the process:

  1. Choose a Breadcrumbs Plugin or Template: If you are using a CMS like WordPress, there are various breadcrumbs plugins available that simplify the implementation process. Alternatively, you can find breadcrumbs templates or snippets that you can manually integrate into your website’s code.
  2. Identify Breadcrumb Elements: Determine the HTML elements that represent the website’s hierarchy, typically the main navigation, page titles, or page IDs. These elements will be used to construct the breadcrumb trail.
  3. Create Breadcrumb Structure: Define the structure of the breadcrumb trail, including the order of breadcrumbs, separators, and styling. Ensure the breadcrumb structure reflects the website’s hierarchy and is consistent across all pages.
  4. Implement Breadcrumb Code: Integrate the chosen breadcrumbs plugin or manually code the breadcrumb structure into your website’s template or relevant files. This may involve adding HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code, depending on the implementation method.
  5. Test and Refine: Thoroughly test the breadcrumbs on different pages and devices to ensure they display correctly, function as intended, and enhance the user experience. Make adjustments to the code, styling, or plugin settings as needed.
  6. Optimize for Accessibility: Implement accessibility considerations, such as providing alternative text for screen readers and ensuring the breadcrumbs are compatible with assistive technologies.
  7. Monitor and Maintain: Regularly monitor the breadcrumbs’ effectiveness and make adjustments as needed. Gather user feedback and address any usability issues that may arise.

Common mistakes while using Breadcrumps

Some of the most common mistake while using Breadcrumps in SEO are as follows:

  • Omitting Breadcrumbs: Failing to include breadcrumbs on pages deep within the website’s hierarchy can leave users disoriented and unable to easily navigate back to previous pages or related content.
  • Excessively Long Breadcrumbs: Breadcrumbs should be concise and easy to follow.
  • Inconsistent Breadcrumb Structure: Maintain a consistent breadcrumb structure throughout the website.
  • Non-Functional Breadcrumbs: Ensure that breadcrumbs are clickable links that lead to the respective parent or related pages.
  • Irrelevant Breadcrumb Content: Breadcrumb text should accurately reflect the content of the current page and its relationship to the parent or related pages.


Breadcrumbs are an essential part of any website. They help users understand the site structure and navigate easily. There are some common mistakes to avoid when using breadcrumbs, but by following best practices, you can create a great user experience.

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