The one SEO element website optimizers can control is internal link building. The architecture of a site should be built around the browser and search engine robots. Creating internal links through breadcrumb navigation leaves a retractable path or trail from where you began. The breadcrumbs can appear in Google organic results which is a positive result for your website.
Below is an image from a Google search on Amazon drama paperback. You can see the results that were returned listed Amazon in position one. You will also notice the breadcrumb trail. An advantage over your competition.
What is Breadcrumb Navigation?
Breadcrumbs are a series of links in order that tell the browser where they have been on the website. At any time the browser can click any link and navigate to that page. The term originated from the Hansel and Gretel story whereby they left a trail of breadcrumbs so they could find their way back home. Typical website breadcrumbs will look like these 2 examples. Home / Product Range / Contact Us or Home > Product Range > Contact Us.
Why Use Breadcrumbs?
Websites such as E-commerce portals benefit from breadcrumbs. Because of the depth of product it is wise to let the browser know where they are on the site. This helps with navigation and control as to how efficiently you roam the site. Search engines will also find it easier to index your website pages. A good website architecture will help robots access your site.
How to add a Breadcrumb Navigation Trail?
For the sake of this article we will assume your website is buit on the WordPress platform. A plugin that is universally acclaimed is SEO WordPress by Yoast. If this plugin is installed you can click on the SEO menu in the Dashboard. This will expand and you should click on the Internal Links link. This will reveal the breadcrumb settings for your website. From here all your have to do is check the Enable Breadcrumbs box and select save changes. That’s it your website is now configured for breadcrumb navigation. However, you may wish to edit certain parts of these settings. The separator is what separates the pages you have been visiting. In the default settings this is defined by 2 arrows >>. You could change this to > or – or another symbol. The anchor text is typically Home. If you want the 404 error page to say something different you can edit this too.
Breadcrumb Navigation Dos and Donts.
- Use basic separators in your breadcrumb structure.
- The common separators are the less than sign < or double less than sign << or a forward slash.
- Place the breadcrumb navigation just below the main menu.
- Start the breadcrumb with the home page link and end it on the page your are currently on.
- Make sure the links are clickable. On a mobile device these links should be tappable.
- Dont make the font size too small. Make sure it is visible to the browser.
- Dont make your breadcrumb navigation the main menu structure – these are supporting links in your web design.
- Make them visible without dominating the page.
- Dont make the titles on your menus long. This will make the breadcrumbs long and may dominate your Google listing links.