Definition of the breadcrumb trail: a guide for visitors to your website

Through our SEO Agency Optimize 360

on the theme Technical SEO


With the rapid evolution of the Internet, it is essential to have a good navigation strategy on your website.

The aim is to make it easier for visitors to find their way around your site and offer them the best possible experience.

Among the many techniques used to achieve this, the Ariadne's thread occupies an important place.

Breadcrumb trail

What is a breadcrumb trail (in a web context)?

Le breadcrumb trail takes its name from Greek mythology, where Ariadne helps Theseus escape from the labyrinth by giving him a ball of thread. In the digital world, Ariadne's thread is a navigational element used on websites that allows users to find their way around easily and to go back if necessary. It generally consists of a line of text at the top or above the main content of the site, showing the path followed by the user from the home page to the current page.

The benefits of breadcrumb

Improved navigation

Thanks to its linear appearance and simplicity, the breadcrumb trail makes navigation more fluid for web users.

In fact, this tool makes it possible to see immediately where they are on the site, which considerably reduces the risk of them getting lost.

And if users want to return to a previous page, they can click on the next level of depth directly in the breadcrumb trail.

Search engine optimisation

The breadcrumb trail can play a decisive role in your referencing strategy (SEO).

By integrating a breadcrumb trail with tags HTML you make it easier for indexing robots who explore your website and better understand its structure.

In addition, the links included in the breadcrumb trail enhance the internal networking of your site, boosting its visibility on search engines.

Reduced bounce rate

The breadcrumb trail can help to reduce the bounce rate of your website.

By giving visitors the option of returning easily to the previous page or to any stage of the journey, you encourage them to explore your content further rather than leaving the site immediately.

The different shapes of Ariadne's thread

Choosing the best version of breadcrumb trail for your site will depend largely on its architecture and content. Here are the three main types of breadcrumb:

  1. Hierarchical breadcrumb trail : It indicates the visitor's position in the overall structure of the website. It is particularly suitable for sites with a complex, deep architecture.

  2. Breadcrumb attribute : It presents the characteristics of the page currently being viewed. This type of breadcrumb trail is frequently used in online shops to make it easier to find products.

  3. Historical breadcrumb trail : It shows the path taken by the visitor from their arrival on your site to the current page. Although rather rare, it can nevertheless be useful for certain web projects.

Setting up an effective breadcrumb trail

For your breadcrumb trail to be truly beneficial, here are a few tips to follow:

  • Place the Ariadne's thread in the right place: The best place to insert a breadcrumb trail is generally at the top of the page, just before the main content. Internet users are then likely to see it directly and use it to navigate around your site.

  • Making the breadcrumb trail clear and visible : Make sure that the breadcrumb text is legible and easily distinguishable from the rest of the content. Also use icons or separators to distinguish each level.

  • Add dedicated HTML tags : To take full advantage of the breadcrumb trail's impact on SEO, it is essential to use the specific tags that can improve the indexing and understanding of your site by search engines.

  • Adapting the breadcrumb trail to mobile devices: Make sure that your breadcrumb trail is also accessible and optimised for users on smartphones and tablets.

In conclusion, the breadcrumb trail is a tool that can greatly help Internet users navigate a website by allowing them to find their way around easily.
It also offers considerable advantages in terms of search engine optimisation (SEO).

By following our advice on use and implementation, you can be sure that your breadcrumb trail will be really effective and add value to your website.


Definitions and general information :

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