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Using Breadcrumb Schema to Optimize Your Website

Written by Alfred Bassetti on
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Breadcrumbs aren’t always as helpful as you want them to be – just ask Hansel and Gretel about the birds. However, when it comes to your website, you’ll want to use breadcrumb schema to get the biggest boost for your SEO.

Don’t worry… You and your website visitors won’t end up stranded in the woods. We put this post together to help you develop a foolproof strategy for adding breadcrumbs to your WordPress website. You’ll learn how breadcrumbs help visitors navigate your site and how breadcrumb schema helps with search engine optimization.

How Breadcrumbs Improve User Experience

Breadcrumbs are a special type of website navigation that show visitors where they are in relation to the site’s structure or hierarchy.

For example, here’s how we use breadcrumbs on our website. Going from left to right, you can get more granular details on where you’re at on the site. First, the homepage, then resources, blog, and finally blog category.

Pressable breadcrumbs navigations website home page, resources, blog , WordPress plugins & themes

Breadcrumb navigations are particularly useful in ecommerce by showcasing the different product categories. Here’s an example from the women’s clothing section of Target.com:

Ecommerce Target.com women's clothing section breadcrumbs

Back in the olden days, when people still shopped in person, the first thing you saw when you walked in a mall was a directory and a map. Breadcrumbs are like the “you are here” dot on that map.

Malls have multiple entrances. The map shows where you are in relation to the rest of the building. Similarly, websites have many different entrance points. Unfortunately, we often design websites as if all visitors start on the home page. But thanks to search engine or social traffic, people could enter your site on a blog post or product page.

Site search works great when people are looking for a specific item or page. Breadcrumbs fill the gap for people who are searching for information but aren’t quite sure what search terms to use.

For example, if someone lands on a product page, they might not like the exact product. They’re unsure what category to search for and can’t just hit the back button to see everything in the category. The breadcrumb navigation lets them easily find similar products using your site’s built-in hierarchy.

How Breadcrumbs Help Search Engine Optimization

While breadcrumb navigations make sites easier for people to use, search engines need some additional help with a breadcrumb schema.

What is Schema?

Schema is a type of markup used to add microdata to a webpage. Schema provides additional details to help search engines process pages. Search engines also use the extra details from schema to display on results pages. These enhanced or fancier results are known as rich snippets.

Search results with rich snippets experience higher click-through rates than those without.

If you’re not including schema details, you’re missing out on having more clickable search results.

How to Implement Breadcrumb Schema on a WordPress Site

Breadcrumb schema makes more sense when you see how it’s done. Let’s look at the basics of schema before we go over how to make it work on your website.

What Do You Need in a Breadcrumb Schema?

The standardized options for this type of structured data are available at Schema.org.

Use BreadcrumbList schema when building a breadcrumb navigation on your site.

Here’s an example of the HTML code for a breadcrumb list without the Schema markup:

Here’s an example of the same list utilizing the breadcrumb schema embedded in the HTML:

How to Add Breadcrumb Schema to a WordPress Site

If you have all the time and patience, you could manually edit the code on each page to add the breadcrumb schema to your site. Fortunately, with WordPress, there are easier ways. You can use a plugin or look for a theme with breadcrumb schema support.

Using a Plugin

Most SEO plugins include an option for enabling many different schema types for your site. If you run an ecommerce website, the product-specific schema is even more important than adding breadcrumbs. Look for a search plugin that supports your site’s relevant schema types.

Using a Theme

Many themes include breadcrumbs as a part of the design. When selecting a theme, look to see if it produces the right schema for breadcrumbs or other elements. Breadcrumbs also might be an option that you can toggle on or off. Before you try to find a new theme, look at the documentation for your existing theme.

You also can use themes and plugins together. If your theme tackles designing and displaying breadcrumbs, an SEO plugin can add the schema to it.

Build a Better Website with Pressable

Delivering the best user experience and climbing the search engine rankings requires employing the right tools, like breadcrumb schema, with the best host. Pressable’s managed WordPress hosting plans provide premium service and support. Your site will run fast and be easier to maintain. Schedule a demo to learn more about how we can help you build a better WordPress site.

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Alfred Bassetti

Alfred Bassetti is a Sales Representative and Sales Operations Analyst at Pressable. He focuses in helping people get the best possible experience with hosting by bringing customers closer to their needs!