Breadcrumb Navigation: What it is and Why it’s Great

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Breadcrumb navigation is a type of site navigation that shows users where they are on a site’s hierarchy of pages without looking at the URL structure. The reason why websites use breadcrumb navigation is because it makes it easier for people to move between categories, products and informational pages without losing their place.

Let’s learn more about breadcrumb navigation and why you should be using it on your site.

What is Breadcrumb Navigation?

The term “breadcrumbs” comes from the tale Hansel and Gretel where the kids drop a trail of crumbs so they can find their way back. Breadcrumb navigation works in a similar way. They help users understand where they are on the site so they can easily find their way back if they’re on a page they don’t want to be on. This prevents them from having to start back over.

There are different types of breadcrumbs in website design:

  • Location-based breadcrumbs help users go to a broader category from the page they are on.
  • History-based breadcrumbs serve the same purpose as a back button, letting users go back to one of the pages they previously visited.
  • Attribute-based breadcrumbs show you the attributes the user selected on a page, such as when filtering search results.

What are the Benefits of Using Breadcrumb Navigation?

Breadcrumb navigation has been recommended since 1995. It never causes a problem in user testing, and even if users choose not to pay attention to the breadcrumbs, it won’t affect their experience. Plus, breadcrumbs take up very little space on a page and have remained consistent over the years. Really, there’s no reason NOT to use breadcrumbs!

Below are the benefits to expect when using breadcrumb navigation:

  • Encourage browsing. If a user reaches a page they’re not interested in, breadcrumb navigation makes it easier for them to go back instead of bouncing off your page. Because of this, people may also spend more time on the site.
  • Improve user experience. Allowing users to find the information they need contributes to a good user experience. Breadcrumb navigation improves usability and helps people complete tasks faster and easier.
  • Improve SEO. Just as a sitemap tells the search engines about your site, breadcrumb trails make your web content clearer. The words used in a breadcrumb trail can be your site target keywords as well.

Is your site currently using breadcrumb navigation? If not, you can easily add breadcrumbs to your website. For more information on how to do this, contact Magna Technology. We can get your site squared away and performing optimally in no time!