On larger websites with many pages, breadcrumb navigation trails can aid the way that your visitors find their way around your website. They can help to reduce the number of clicks a visitor needs to make to navigate around. They also offer a superb visual reference as to their current location helping to ensure that they know where they are and where they can go.
Help your online visitors navigate your website
What is a breadcrumb?
You usually find breadcrumb trails in websites that have a large number of pages. In their simplest form, breadcrumb trails are horizontally arranged links separated by the symbol showing the user the hierarchy of the page they are currently viewing.
When Should you use a Breadcrumb Trail?
Use breadcrumb trails for large websites and websites that have pages arranged in a obvious order. eCommerce websites are an obvious example, where products and categories may be nested many level deep into logical groups.
- Don’t use breadcrumbs for single-level websites that have only a few pages and no obvious hierarchy.
- Breadcrumb trails should always be seen as an additional to any other form of navigation. They should not replace more traditional forms of primary navigation.
Benefits of Using Breadcrumbs
Instead of having to navigate up and down a site, or return to the home page or sitemap, your visitors can just to different levels of your site with a fewer number of mouse clicks.
They’re neat and tidy
A small horizontal breadcrumb trail, neatly styled only takes up a very small part of the screen real estate. They have no negative impact on the page content when used well.
It’s just more convenient
Breadcrumb trails are mainly used to give visitors an additional way of navigating your website. On a large website users can navigate to higher-level pages far more easily.
Breadcrumb trails also help first time visitors understand how to get to somewhere else on your website. Search engines can introduce visitors to your website at any level. Giving them and “you are here” with a breadcrumb trail helps them to know where they are and shows them how to get to somewhere else fast.
Where should breadcrumbs be located?
Breadcrumb trails are usually always displayed at the top of the page, ideally just below the primary navigation menu if a horizontal menu layout is available.