Most of us have been to a theme park or shopping centre and managed to get lost within the maze of paths and walkways within a matter of minutes. When we’re in these situations, finding a map that displays exactly where we currently are and where we want to go is a game-changer, and that is essentially what breadcrumbs are in website navigation.
The Magic of Breadcrumb Navigation
Breadcrumbs can be used to show users how their current page location links to certain other pages on the site. So, a visitor to a retail site may find themselves on a product page for trainers and breadcrumb navigation will help them to understand how this relates to a higher-level page, such as the category page for trainers.
But how can you use this tool to your advantage and make your site easier to navigate? Well, it starts with understanding which type of breadcrumb navigation you should be leveraging.
Different Types of Website Breadcrumbs:
There is no one size fits all approach to web design, which is why there are several options available to you here.
— History Breadcrumbs
History-based breadcrumbs essentially function similarly to the back button on a browser, allowing site visitors to return to a page they have previously visited. This is especially useful for retail websites where consumers can apply a variety of filters to cut down their search because they won’t be compelled to reapply filters, which can quickly degrade the user experience.
— Location Breadcrumbs
Our trainer example from earlier in this article is a prime example of location-based breadcrumbs. Customers who arrive at a product page showcasing a pair of trainers but wish to learn more about other options will be directed to a suitable page, such as the women’s shoes main category page or the ‘women’s trainers’ sub-category.
Breadcrumb Best Practices
To maximize the value of breadcrumbs on your site, there are a variety of best practices to keep in mind, which teams offering professional web design in Toronto can implement. They include:
— Begin at home
Breadcrumbs generally deliver the best results when trails begin at your home page. In addition to ensuring that visitors are provided with plenty of contexts, starting at your home page means there is always a strong anchor point that will give users confidence that they are on the right journey.
— Separate each level
Most websites use the ‘>’ symbol to separate each page level. It’s best not to go against the grain here, because it’s the most effective approach to visually communicate the link between increased and low-level pages.
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Partnering with a professional web designer or design team can help you to elevate your online presence, improve your overall visibility, and start out-performing even your closest competitors.
Teams delivering first-class web design in Toronto understand how to leverage an array of features including breadcrumbs to ensure that your website is delivering the high-quality user experience your visitors deserve.