Last week while sharing about killer blog design, we touched a little about breadcrumbs and as promised this article will address in details more about breadcrumb navigation.
Most webmasters dismiss the power of breadcrumbs whenever they are designing sites. Actually, people view creating breadcrumb navigation as being too much trouble. But the one thing they fail to see is the ability of breadcrumbs in easing navigation on your site or blog and increasing organic traffic.
For you to be able to retain visitors on your blog thus make more money, you need to make it easy for visitors to find your pages. Breadcrumbs are additional tools of navigation that visitors can use to know exactly where they are on your site.
The big question that you should be asking is, Why the implementation of Breadcrumb navigation?
a. Search engine optimization: As much as breadcrumbs help visitors move from one page to another, they also ensure that search engines Crawl your site/blog with ease. Having breadcrumbs help in the categorization of your content thus increasing indexing of your web pages.
As a webmaster you do not need to be reminded that the 95% of traffic on the internet is from search engines. Therefore, it goes without saying, you need to find ways to rank your pages high thus generate blog traffic and make money online. Proper implementation of breadcrumbs can do exactly that for you.
b. Ease Navigation: Apart from your normal categories, breadcrumb navigation provides additional ease of routing on your site. There are instances that visitors will come to your site via webpages other than your home page.
Breadcrumbs will allow your target audience to know exactly where they are on your blog. They also make sure that your viewers can easily move to other pages from whatever point thus offering greater usability.
c. Reduce clicks: The fact that visitors can move from one page to another quite easily using breadcrumbs, means that there are reduced clicks before someone gets to where they want. This means that one does not need to use the backward or forward button that appears on the web browser.
d. Add to your blog appearance: Since breadcrumb navigation does not take too much space, they contribute to the general appearance of your blog.
Take your time to select a good breadcrumb tool that will flow with the theme of your blog design.
e. Cultivates interest: When visitors land on a webpage within your blog, they are offered other related pages and this can easily help in building interest. Breadcrumb navigation gives readers more links to related content rather than them going round in circles.
f. Reduce bounce rate: The fact that breadcrumb navigation is more detailed; it will greatly reduce your bounce rate. This is mainly due to the reason that visitors are provided with more options to access different web pages.
Whenever your viewers find it easy to locate relevant pages within your site, they tend to spend more time on your blog thus boosting your online sales conversion rate.
g. Offer additional help: Not all of us are savvy when it comes to the internet. You will sometime get visitors that are not sure of what they are looking for. This is where breadcrumb navigation can come in handy.
Breadcrumbs are ideally structured to give an overall outlook of a site, thus better navigation for newbies who do not understand how site navigation operates.
Here are some of the ideal practices or implementation of breadcrumb navigation:
1. Breadcrumb positioning: The best positioning of breadcrumb navigation is at the top of a page. This will make it easy for visitors to locate them thus get to what they are looking for faster.
It is also alright if you put them at the bottom of your webpages. Only make sure that are structured in an uncomplicated manner.
2. Breadcrumbs should be secondary navigation: Since you already have a primary navigation bar on your blog, breadcrumbs should just act as support. Remember that the primary navigation bar should be dominant.
This means that before you provide your visitors with the breadcrumbs, you must have the primary navigation in place. Breadcrumbs should just be for additional support.
3. Use friendly links: The link style you use on breadcrumb navigation should not be over emphasized. As much as your breadcrumbs should be seen, they should not appear to be the focal point.
Make your breadcrumbs visible but not overbearing to your visitors.
4. Page categorization: There are pages that may appear in more than two categories, if that is the case then it is not advisable to use breadcrumbs.
Using breadcrumb navigation will online confuse your visitors since pages appearing in more than one category will produce unclear breadcrumbs. Therefore, before you implement breadcrumbs have a clearly defined page hierarchy.
5. Consistency: This means that if you opt to use breadcrumbs it should be in your entire blog or website. When you have breadcrumbs on some webpages and others don’t have, you will easily puzzle and frustrate your visitors.
Below are the various breadcrumb navigation strategies being implemented by web-developers:
– Location: This is one of the recommended strategies of implementing breadcrumbs. Location breadcrumbs indicate to visitors the location they are on a website depending the site’s hierarchy.
Sites that have more than two levels depth of content are the ones commonly known to use this kind of breadcrumb.
This is how it works; upon reaching certain pages, visitors are presented with hyperlinks to other related pages and categories. These pages normally act as parent categories.
– Path: Just as the name goes, path breadcrumb navigation shows step by step the route a visitor used to get to the current page. In short, blog visitors will view the links they previously visited.
– Attribute: A good example of demonstrating the attribute breadcrumb navigation is on a product website. A phone may be categorized as Nokia then the attributes may be things like color or the various functionalities of the phone.
Summary: Ideally breadcrumbs act as additional support to the primary navigation bar. They should never be the main content of your website.
As I said on the previous post, do not let the word “crumbs” fool you, breadcrumb navigation can greatly boost your blog SEO thus boost your traffic generation. This is because breadcrumbs will make search engines have an easy time crawling and indexing your web pages.