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Benefits Of Using Breadcrumb Navigation In Websites

breadcrumb navigation

Trust me when I say it, I know some web design and development firms which think that using breadcrumb navigation is no longer “cool”. Yes, breadcrumb navigation used to be an integral part of websites even a few years back. But we do not see them getting used too often these days, barring just some handful of e-commerce websites.


In my opinion, however, breadcrumbs should be getting a higher importance in websites. Why is it so, you ask? This is because the recent advent of mobile technology has made web visitors prefer websites with easy navigation features. But before we start talking more about the efficiency of breadcrumb navigation, we need to know how the term came into existence.





The Origin of the Term


The term “breadcrumb” came from the popular German fairytale ‘Hansel and Gretel’, where two characters in the story drop breadcrumbs to find their way back home. Therefore, web designers and developers decided to use this term to name the process of helping users find their way around a website.


Normally, breadcrumbs appear below headers or title bars, and move horizontally. It moves in a hierarchical structure with a greater-than sign acting as the separator. They provide links back to each previous page the user navigated through to get to the present one, so that the user can go back to a previous page with just a single click.


Types of Breadcrumbs


There are 3 types of breadcrumbs that can be used on a website.


#1. Location-based Breadcrumb: This type is usually seen in websites that have a huge amount of content. The trail depicts every level a user has travelled to reach the last page where he is currently landed.


#2. Path-based Breadcrumb:  This type shows the entire path traveled by the user to reach on a particular page. In this type, every page the user navigated through gets displayed.


#3. Attributcoration: underline;”>#3. Attribute-based Breadcrumb: This type of breadcrumb tracks the attributes of a page. This is the reason why this type is most-commonly used in e-commerce websites.


Benefits of Using Breadcrumb Navigation


You need to understand one thing very clearly. If you remove breadcrumb navigation from your website, it will not bring any visual changes. However, websites are no longer design-centered but conversion-centered moneymaking machines. A wrong move from your end can highly disrupt the user experience. And that’s why breadcrumbs are so handy. Here are a few major benefits of using them:


Great User Experience: This is the biggest benefit of using breadcrumb navigation in websites. You do not have to bother too much about the navigational structures. Breadcrumbs make it pretty easy for visitors to find their way into a website.


Increases Average Time Spent on Websites: If visitors land in one of your website’s internal pages, they’ll have two options once they are done – they’ll either close the entire window or go directly to your homepage to know more about you. With breadcrumbs, they’ll get the option of exploring other related stuffs. This, in turn, will increase the average time spent on your website.


Reduction in Useless Page Views: Visitors use the ‘Back’ button as a trail. In that process, they come across many pages which they do not need to see. And as a result, they gradually start growing impatient. The presence of breadcrumbs lowers these useless page views.


The SEO Factor


SEO is such a major thing these days, and I’m absolutely not going to skip it. Truth be told, breadcrumbs can come in handy in leaving keywords on a page. Using keyword-rich breadcrumbs can result in high-quality internal linking, and this can give your website favorable exposure in the SERPs.



So, won’t you use breadcrumb navigation on your website?


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Sarah Clark

Written by

Sarah Clark, working in B3NET Inc. as Technical Editor. B3NET is leading orange county web design company in California.