Home » SEO Glossary » What Are Breadcrumbs In SEO?

What Are Breadcrumbs In SEO?

by | 27 Jun, 2022

More Definitions

If you link to any of my definitions in your blog posts, send me a message to mihael@21writers.com and I’ll feature your post in my next roundup.

Breadcrumbs are a type of navigation element that helps users understand their location within a website.

They typically take the form of a text path, located at the top of a page, indicating where the user is on the site. This is known as a breadcrumb trail.

For example, a breadcrumb on a product page might look something like “Home > Clothing > Men’s > Shirts.”

While a breadcrumb trail is not required for all websites, it can be beneficial for both users and search engines.

For users, breadcrumbs provide an easy way to navigate back to previous pages or sections within the site. It’s important to consider a mobile-friendly breadcrumb trail which can be done using CSS.

This can be helpful if they get lost or want to backtrack, and it can also reduce frustration.

Different Types Of Breadcrumbs

The four most frequent breadcrumb types are:

Hierarchy-based Breadcrumbs

This is how we implement breadcrumbs on our site. They indicate the site structure and the number of steps it takes to return to the homepage.

It might be something like Home > Blog > Category > Post name.

Location-based Breadcrumbs

This second type of breadcrumb is similar to the first but omits the final step. In this case, you would see something like Home > USA > New York.

Attribute-based Breadcrumbs

The third common type is attribute-based breadcrumbs. These are used on eCommerce sites to give users additional information about products.

They might show something like Product Type > Size > Color, for example.

History-Based Breadcrumbs

This fourth type of website breadcrumbs is less common but still worth mentioning. These types of breadcrumbs show the user’s history on the site.

An example of history-based breadcrumbs is if you’ve visited a few pages on a site, you might see a breadcrumb that looks like this:

Home > Last Visited Page > Previous Page > Current Page

How To Implement Breadcrumbs

There are a few different ways to implement a breadcrumb trail on your website.

The most common method is to use HTML breadcrumb navigation. This can be done by adding a special code to your website’s template. If you’re not comfortable editing your site’s code, you can also use a breadcrumb WordPress SEO plugin.

Another option is to use Google’s structured data breadcrumbs mark-up. This method doesn’t require any changes to your website’s code but can be more difficult to set up.

Finally, some content management systems (CMSs) have breadcrumb functionality built-in. For example, if you’re using Drupal, you can enable the “Breadcrumbs” module to add breadcrumbs to your site.

Benefits Of Using Breadcrumbs

There are a few benefits of using a breadcrumb trail on your website. Let’s take a closer look:

1. Google Loves Them

Breadcrumbs are popular with your visitors, but so is Google.

They provide another method for Google to determine the structure of your web page, although they may also be used in the search results themselves, making your result far more desirable to customers.

To increase the likelihood of your breadcrumbs showing in Google and through the search engine bots, use structured data.

2. User Experience

Breadcrumbs improve the user experience by giving your visitors an easy way to navigate back to previous pages.

This is especially helpful if your site has a deep structure with many levels of pages.

For example, if a user is looking at a product page that’s several levels down in your site’s hierarchy, breadcrumbs can help them quickly navigate back to the category or home page.

3. Reduced Bounce Rates

Breadcrumbs can also help reduce bounce rates.

A high bounce rate can hurt your SEO efforts because it tells Google that users are not finding what they’re looking for on your site.

If you have a lot of visitors bouncing from your site, it’s a sign that something is wrong. Breadcrumbs can help reduce bounce rates by making it easier for users to find their way around your site.

4. Improved Conversion Rates

Finally, breadcrumbs can also lead to improved conversion rates.

If users can easily find the products they’re looking for on your site, they’re more likely to make a purchase.

And if your breadcrumbs are showing up in Google search results, it can also help increase click-through rates from the search results.


Despite the fact that they used breadcrumbs, Hansel and Gretel got lost in the woods (I love this fairytale). Let your visitors avoid a similar fate!

Breadcrumbs offer an easy-to-understand method for people to explore your site. They are also popular with Google for the same reason.

Adding breadcrumbs to your website can help improve the user experience and may even lead to increased conversion rates.

Do you use breadcrumbs on your site? Let us know in the comments below!

Mihael D. Cacic
“Digital Marketing Mad Scientist”

Physicist turned SEO Content Marketer. For the past few years, Mihael worked with many big SaaS and service businesses helping them rank higher and get more customers. Now here to share his secrets on how to make hyper-profitable blogs in hyper-efficient ways.

Mihael is a digital marketing mad scientist. He’s a sharp marketer with high energy and lots of ideas. The work he did leveled up our whole team.”

Sujan Patel

Founder, MailShake

Most recent win:

Mihael Cacic Signups

Increased monthly signups from 20 to 200/month in 7 months for one client.

Saying that Mihael is a content marketing guru is an understatement. His attention to detail is on another level. He doesn’t give room to the slightest mistake and makes sure each piece is the best out there.

Martin Angila

Writer, Notch Content

Mihael is brilliant, organized, considerate, and honest. A rare mix in today’s world. He is extremely analytical and can grasp complex topics quickly. If you’re looking to grow your blog, listen to Mihael – he knows what he’s doing.

Lia Parisyan Schmidt

Brand Strategist