Breadcrumb links are a type of navigational element used in websites and other types of content. They allow a user to quickly identify where they are in a website and how to get back to a higher level of navigation.
Breadcrumb links are usually displayed in a horizontal bar above the content of a page. They usually show a hierarchy of sections and categories of pages within a website in reverse order, starting from the highest-level category down to what specific page the user is viewing.
Breadcrumb links can appear in a variety of formats. The most common format is a series of text-based links or clickable buttons that represent the hierarchy of the navigation. This allows the user to click on any link in the chain in order to quickly access any page within the hierarchy. Some sites may also use images, bullet points, or other graphical elements as breadcrumb links.
The benefits of adding breadcrumb links to your website include:
• Increased usability – they allow users to quickly identify where they are in a website’s structure, and easily move between levels of navigation.
• Improved accessibility – they can be read aloud by screen readers, making them helpful for users with disabilities.
• Reduced exit rates – users are more likely to remain on the site if they can easily access navigation and search links.
• More search engine visibility – Breadcrumb links can help search engines to crawl and index a website, which can help boost a site’s visibility in search results.
When using breadcrumb links, there are some general guidelines and best practices to keep in mind.
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• Make sure the breadcrumb links are visible and easy to find. Place them towards the top of the page so that users can easily find them regardless of where they are in the website.
• Keep them concise yet descriptive. Provide enough information to let the user know where they are in the website, but keep it concise and to the point.
• Try to have consistent wording across the website. This helps maintain consistency throughout the website and reduces confusion when navigating.
• Limit the number of breadcrumb links. Keep it to a maximum of five, as more than this can make it difficult to keep track of where the user is.
• Use semantic link text. Rather than simply saying “Here” or “Home”, try to use words that accurately describe the page being linked to.
• Make sure breadcrumb links are clickable. Make sure that these links are actually clickable, so that users can use them to easily move between pages.
• Utilise breadcrumb trails. Include the ability to go backwards and forwards within the content to make it easier for visitors to move around.
• Pay attention to mobile design. Make sure the breadcrumb links look good and are easy to use on mobile devices.