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Breadcrumbs for online shops. Why should you use it and how to implement one?

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Breadcrumbs for online shops. Why should you use it and how to implement one?
Category SEO

Breadcrumbs are important in your online shop because they allow your customers to easily find their way back to the homepage. If you have a big and deep shop with many categories, it can be quite difficult to find your way back home again and breadcrumbs are the perfect solution to this problem. Check out this guide to learn why and how to implement breadcrumbs in your online shop!


What is breadcrumbs menu?

This type of menu allows users to navigate the web from general to specific content. It is especially useful for large-scale sites as it organizes the content. These are not websites dedicated to e-commerce, although most of them are found here. This is a special sitemap path that separates smaller elements with separators so that the user can narrow his search, for example: Home / Furniture / Shelfs / Hanging shelves.

The most popular types

There are different kinds of breadcrumbs available to use.

Location menu

The most popular types of breadcrumbs are location menus. They show a list of the pages that are on the same website as the current page, with some indication of which section they’re in. A user can click a link in this list to go back to where they were before, or keep going down until they reach the homepage again. In this way, it is possible to visit any webpage on the site without having to know exactly where it is.

Attribute menu

The attribute menu lists all available filters in a drop-down menu. This type of breadcrumb shows the user all their options as they narrow down what they’re looking for. For example, a customer can click on size under clothing to see all different sizes available from small to XXL, or click on color under shoes to get all the different color options.

Historical menu

This is the least used type of breadcrumb menu. It displays all the elements that the user visited on our website. Using it is not recommended due to the user’s illogical path, which creates chaos in the information flow.

Breadcrumbs in the context of optimization and positioning

Breadcrumbs are an often-overlooked element of a website’s design. They can improve both search engine optimization and the user experience. Breadcrumbs allow users to better navigate a site, so they’ll be able to find what they’re looking for more easily. This can have the effect of increasing user engagement with your content, since they’ll be able to find what they’re looking for faster.

Why is breadcrumbs the best solution for e-commerce websites?

Breadcrumbs are a great way to create a navigational structure within an e-commerce website. They’re often used at the top of the page, or on pages with many items that can be filtered. Breadcrumbs allow users to find their way around a site without getting lost, like they might if they had no idea where they were going or what they were looking for.


In the context of positioning, it is an extremely useful tool. Search engine algorithms have an easier task during the process of searching the subject of our website, thanks to which it is easier to match user queries.

Analyzing user activities

It is also information for the website owner about the path the user has traveled. In the case of online stores, this is extremely important because it facilitates the finalization of the purchase and thus generates profits. A potential customer wants to find the perfect product without going through the page. The conversion rate and website traffic increase then, which affects its position in search engine rankings.

Internal linking

Breadcrumb menus are also useful for strengthening internal linking because they anchor categories and subcategories to select keywords. Our website’s links are by default “dofollow”, enabling search engines to follow the subpages they link to.

Tips. What to pay attention to when implementing the breadcrumbs menu?

  1. Choose the appropriate separator. Most often, administrators use “/” or “>”, although sometimes special plug-ins that use HTML-based separators are used for this purpose. However, the most important thing is consistency, after all, we care about keeping order.
  2. Establish a hierarchy. It’s literally about structuring your site to make your navigation as user-friendly as possible, eg Home / Category / Subcategory / Narrow Subcategory / Landing page.
  3. Avoid errors in structured data. One typo and search engine robots will have trouble analyzing the content of the page. So let’s use the checking tools.
  4. Be mobile. The breadcrumb menu is not dedicated only to desktop devices. The smartphone screen is much smaller, so the use of Breadcrumb navigation is much more convenient for the user.
  5. Don’t duplicate crumbs from the main menu. However, remember that if your site is small in its structure, breadcrumbs are not needed. A properly designed main menu should be sufficient for the user and search engine robots. However, if you decide to go with this idea, remember that the breadcrumb menu is not a substitute for the main menu.

In conclusion

The main advantage of implementing a breadcrumb navigation is that it will have clear links to the content on your site. This means that visitors won’t need to search around for what they’re looking for. Breadcrumb also helps potential customers find products quickly by highlighting where they are in the site, with an easy back button if they choose not to purchase the product. It can help improve conversion rates as well as customer satisfaction. With a bit of work and creativity, you can create a memorable experience for your website’s visitors.

Aleksandra Pietrzak
Curator at the National Museum in Poznań, graduate of Art History at the Jagiellonian University and Contemporary Art at the Pedagogical University of Krakow, curator of exhibitions and author of scientific and popular texts. A lover of contemporary art, literature and travel.
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