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Breadcrumbs and Why Web Designers Use Them

April 24, 2013 IADT General, IADT Detroit, Internet Marketing 0 Comments

what-are-internet-breadcrumbsAs websites become increasingly large and complex, it becomes easier and easier for users to become lost. Even if they know the site contains the information they need, users may grow frustrated and abandon the site before they find what they came for. In a world of increasing complexity, it is crucial for web sites to have a focused, user friendly navigation. Increasingly, web designers are turning to breadcrumbs.


What are Breadcrumbs


In the fairytale, Hansel and Gretel follow a trail of breadcrumbs dropped along the trail back to their home. In much the same way, breadcrumbs on a website mark the trail of a user. Breadcrumbs are navigational tools that act as one line snapshots providing a quick overview of how users navigate to a particular page. Usually, breadcrumbs consist of horizontally arranged text links separated by a greater than symbol (>), although other symbols such as slashes have been utilized.


Why Use Breadcrumbs


There are several reasons why web designers choose to use bread crumbs


  1. For User Convenience Breadcrumbs provide a website’s visitors with a secondary means of navigation. For a complex, multi-level website, breadcrumbs help users more easily access higher-level categories.


  1. They Keep Visitors on Your Site If a user accesses a page through a Google search, breadcrumbs may help tempt the user to explore the rest of the site by offering information on higher-level pages. By making the navigation easier and more intuitive, you can lower the bounce rate for your site.


  1. They Use Minimal Screen Space Breadcrumbs are generally small and are aligned horizontally. They tend not to interfere with most site designs, and do not contribute to the sense of visual overload that is commonly associated with poor design.


  1. They aid in Search Engine Optimization Since breadcrumbs are text-based, they are a good place to use page specific keywords. Utilizing keywords in this way can help your site rank higher in Google and other search engines, without resorting to the ungainly language that can come from attempting to overstuff page content with key words.


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