In this post I will present to you the idea behind one popular and important link navigation for any website. This structure is called breadcrumbs.
What are breadcrumbs?
Have you ever read Hansel and Gretel? If so you are familiar with the trail of breadcrumbs that they leave behind in order to find their way back to their house. Well, the idea is similar when we are viewing breadcrumbs as a navigation structure for WordPress and any other website in general.
Of course your visitors won’t get lost when they reach one page or another and they can always find a way back to the homepage. However the idea here is to make it as easy and convenient as possible for them to go back to any previous page in the trail with just one click.
Imagine the following situation: You have a blog post called “blog-post1” under the category “category-1”. This category has a page that any user can access and see all blog posts under it. Your WordPress website is set to have the following URL structure:
Then a good idea for a breadcrumb navigation will be the possibility to provide a trail for all of these pages that displays their names instead of URL strings.
Home Page > Category 1 > Blog Post 1
Then any user that is currently on Blog Post 1 can with one click return to the category page or to the home page if needed. Now imagine this situation in a more complex environment where under one main page there are several sub-pages and each of them have their own sub-pages. In this case a breadcrumb navigation is not only convenient but in my opinion also needed.
Why breadcrumbs are also extremely useful for SEO?
The bots are crawling your WordPress website. You want them to be able to reach any page or post with ease so that it can get indexed and ranked. That is why there is an imperative need of perfect menu and navigation structures so that the bots can be eased in their tasks as much as possible.
When you provide them with a breadcrumb navigation structure you are making it extremely easy for them to find out which page is the parent and which are its child pages. This will result in better indexation and also better ranking.
Also having a breadcrumb navigation structure will change the way your website is displayed in the search results. Instead of showing URL’s, visitors will be able to see the navigation path that the bots have indexed. This will result in an additional keywords that can be indexed. Also in this way there is better usability as the users will be able to read easily the names of the pages in the trail instead of their URL strings.
How to add breadcrumbs in WordPress?
If you are using Yoast SEO then you can use its features and enable great-looking breadcrubms.
This can be done under SEO Settings → Advanced → Breadcrumbs. Choose the way you want to display your breadcrumbs in the fields below. Then visit this link (click here) and follow the guide in order to implement the breadcrumbs in the code of your WordPress theme. Bear in mind that this is not recommended to be done by beginners and you are encouraged to contact the theme developers for a permanent solution.
Another option is to use the plugin Breadcrumb NavXT. You can get it from WordPress.org or by using the plugin installer system in your WordPress admin panel.
A third option is to choose a theme that has a breadcrumb navigation support by default.
That’s all friends! If you have any questions share them in the comment section below. See you soon, friends!