Should you leverage breadcrumbs SEO with your website? Absolutely! Why?
- User Experience
- Potential SEO Benefits
Good user experience equals big benefits for your business. People will stay longer, dig deeper and it boosts the chances they will become customers, repeat customers, referring customers … oh, you get the picture.
As Google and other search engines watch what people they’ve directed to your site do once they land there, user experience will directly impact future search engine rankings. Since a good user experience often equals a good conversion rate, a good conversion equates to more organic traffic being sent your way. That means more revenue for your business.
About Breadcrumbs SEO, Structured Data and User Experience
Breadcrumbs and structured data can be particularly helpful in online information repositories as well as e-commerce websites. It’s immensely helpful in differentiation for search engines.
Imagine an online store that might sell items with similar names.
Home/Food/Juices/Apple vs. Home/Electronics/Computers/Apple
It’s easy to see how a search engine would use structured data to determine which page to send someone searching for an Apple laptop versus apple juice.
It’s also helpful for user experience in terms of seeing where they are on your site as well as helping people navigate backwards, in some cases. They don’t have to hit the back button twice to get back to Electronics to search for a different type of device. They can simply click the word Electronics because they can see it on their screen.
The easier you make it for Google and other search engines to crawl and read your website, the more likely you’ll get organic search engine rankings and the targeted traffic you want.
The better the breadcrumbs, the better you’ll be able to achieve your goal of reaching your targeted customer. Keep this in mind when optimizing your website.
Breadcrumbs are going to help your visitors navigate your website and this will not only increase your chances of converting visitors into leads or even customers but also can help you reduce your bounce rate. People who get lost and find navigation difficult will typically leave your site and look for something else. But if website visitors dig deeper than the page they entered on, this tells the referring search engine that their bots are succeeding in the way they perceive your web pages. They are listing your web page as the answer to a query/need, and of course Google wants to successfully navigate traffic, so if it achieves that with your visitors, Google will send you more of them.
Conversely, if you’re ranking for search terms and your visitors don’t dig deeper into your website after they enter, Google will reevaluate whether or not you should be getting that traffic.
Breadcrumbs help search engines and visitors alike.
A number of structured data areas will help you position yourself for optimum SEO success. URL structure is a big one as it gives context to search engines that read the site. A website called ABCCompany.com doesn’t tell people much about what it does. If that site is structured with a URL such as this:
ABCCompany.com/product/1234, the search engine still doesn’t know much without further crawling.
If you structure with abccompany.com/product/tools/shovels/trench-shovels, you can see how this gives search engines more information. Of course your URL isn’t the only thing being reviewed, but it’s one of many areas crawled by search engine spiders and the more helpful information those bots find, the more chances you have to get high rankings and associated traffic.
From a user experience perspective, if you add breadcrumbs, the person on the trench shovel page might change their mind and want to look at an edging shovel and instead of going back to the home page to search for the correct shovel, they can see the breadcrumb trail:
Home / Product / Tools / Shovels
… and click on the word shovels to get more information or click tools to look for hammers or whatever item they are interested in reviewing.
Users respond well to intuitive websites that make navigation easy.
Yoast SEO: Helping with Structured Data, Breadcrumbs and SEO
Yoast SEO offers a great number of free and reasonably priced SEO tools to make a WordPress site more user-friendly as well as Google-friendly. Having Yoast installed can make a difference quickly with structured data, a very usable and SEO-friendly URL structure, putting together your meta data and more.
Here are some tips to make the most of breadcrumbs for your site:
- Think of UX (user experience) when setting up your ecommerce site, your blog or any other web properties as the primary objective, and think search engine optimization as an added bonus.
- Keep it simple: Don’t over-complicate matters with over-navigation. Use terms and categories that make sense for your target audience. In some cases, a targeted keyword for your niche will be a great idea.
- Make your breadcrumbs easy to see, near the top of each content page. Avoid pop-up windows for them and don’t try too hard to make them standout. A normal-sized font with text only (no images) is enough.
- Make breadcrumbs a secondary navigation tool. It’s still a good idea to have categories and other calls-to-action on each page of your site to help users find their way around and entice users to buy, opt-in and follow you on social media, as well as clickable links to relevant internal pages.
After implementing Yoast breadcrumbs on your site, watch your analytics to see how it impacts your traffic levels and your conversion rates. Carefully examining drops or spikes in traffic levels can help you immensely in continually boosting targeted traffic and CTRs.