Implementing breadcrumbs on your blog or web site can help improve search engine optimisation (SEO) and the bounce rate of visitors.
What are breadcrumbs
Breadcrumbs provide a ‘trail’ through your web site. Breadcrumbs show users the relationship of the page that they are on with other elements of the web site. In particular, they provide a way for the user to easily navigate up and down your site, from post to category, from child page to parent page, etc.
Breadcrumbs for this WordPress blog have been implemented through the Yoast SEO plugin. You will see the breadcrumbs above the title of this post. They look like this:
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Search engine optimisation (SEO)
According to the Yoast plugin, breadcrumbs help search engines to index your site, as well as to understand the structure of your web site or blog. If search engines can better understand your web site, you are likely to achieve better search engine optimisation.
Search engines also index the breadcrumbs as structured data, which can be used by the search engine to help it understand the content of your pages and to create rich snippets. Snippets are the few lines of text that appear under every search result designed to give users a sense for what’s on the page and why it’s relevant to their query. Rich snippets are detailed information intended to help users with specific queries.
Visitor bounce rate
Breadcrumbs will also help to improve your blog’s bounce rate. I notice when I am browsing the internet that I will often follow breadcrumbs up a level in the web site that I am visiting. Breadcrumbs will help your web site’s visitors to explore your web site further.
The bounce rate is defined by Google to be “the percentage of visitors that see only one page during a visit to your site.” In other words, they visit a page without exploring the web site further.
I now notice that visitors are staying on my web site longer and looking at additional pages. They are following the breadcrumbs up a level and then browsing the category that they are interested in for further information and stories. While they could always use the contents list to drill through category listings, it seems that breadcrumbs are a much more intuitive and faster way of achieving this.