Improve Site Navigation and WordPress SEO with New SmartCrawl Breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs are now baked into SmartCrawl, along with another hotly requested feature… setting primary categories for posts and products!

SmartCrawl 3.5 gives you the ability to improve your WordPress site navigation for users and search engines with two new powerful features: breadcrumbs, and the ability to specify primary categories when assigning multiple categories to your posts or product pages.

In this article, we explain the benefits of using SmartCrawl’s latest new features and how to get the most out of them. We’ll cover:

What’s a Breadcrumb?
Why Use Breadcrumbs?
Where Can You Use Breadcrumbs?
Breadcrumbs and Multiple WordPress Post Categories
How to Add Breadcrumbs to WordPress Using SmartCrawl
Configuring Breadcrumb Settings

Let’s get cooking…

What’s a Breadcrumb?

In the classic fairytale, siblings Hansel and Gretel left a trail of breadcrumbs when they went deep into the forest so they would not get lost and have a path to navigate on their return.

Aptly named, breadcrumbs are an essential navigation aid that can help visitors and search engines better understand your website’s structure.

Why Use Breadcrumbs?

According to research, 38% of first-time website visitors look at navigational links on a page. So, the easier you make it for users to navigate your site, the better their experience. Especially if your website has a hierarchical structure with lots of nested pages.

And it goes without saying that improving your site’s navigation is also good for SEO, as it helps search engine bots crawl your pages and index your content more efficiently.

Here are some other reasons why you should use breadcrumbs on your WordPress site:

Breadcrumbs help users figure out where they are on your site. Visitors usually land on your site through an article link or search result and need a way to orient themselves quickly. A breadcrumb path can provide this orientation, making it easier for visitors to find what they’re looking for. It can also help to reduce bounce rates (i.e. the percentage of visitors who navigate away from your site after viewing only one page).
Breadcrumbs improve user experience. By providing a clear and concise path, users can understand not only where they are on your website, but also how to get back to previous pages or go up a level or two in your site’s hierarchical structure.
Breadcrumbs can improve your search engine visibility and potentially increase traffic to your site. Google uses breadcrumbs to categorize information on your site, helping it to index and organize your content and present it correctly to users. In fact, search engines like Google display breadcrumbs in search results pages, making them a valuable tool for improving your click-through rates.
Google displays breadcrumbs in search results.

Where Can You Use Breadcrumbs?

Breadcrumbs are a type of secondary navigation scheme that show users the path they have taken to reach a particular page on a website.

They don’t replace your site navigation menu, they support and complement it. So, a good place to put them is at the top of a page, just below your site’s primary navigation menu or the main header section.

You can display a breadcrumb trail at the top of your content.

However, you can also use them at the bottom of your page or even on your sidebar.

As you will see later in this post, you can pretty much add a breadcrumb anywhere on your site using a shortcode.

Don’t know why you’d want to do this, but you can.

The best way to find what works best for your site is to test different locations and use tools like heatmaps or analytics to measure your results.

Test different locations to sprinkle breadcrumbs on your site.

Breadcrumbs and Multiple WordPress Post Categories

What happens if you assign multiple categories to a post? How do breadcrumbs choose which path to display?

Which of these categories gets the breadcrumb?

The answer is… breadcrumbs will choose whichever category you have specified as the primary category for the post.

Make sure you can assign a primary category to posts with multiple categories.

Primary categories are the main classification of your business, product, or service and can help search engines understand the primary focus of your website, so the ability to select primary categories in SEO is important.

This is the category your breadcrumb patch will display.

If you assign a primary category to your posts, breadcrumbs don’t have to guess. It’s as simple as that!

A breadcrumb makes your site less humdrum.

How to Add Breadcrumbs to WordPress with SmartCrawl SEO Plugin

SmartCrawl not only makes it easy to add breadcrumb navigation to your website and assign primary categories to your posts and product pages, but it automatically adds structured data to your breadcrumbs. This helps search engines to understand and categorize your content and present it correctly to users.

Plus, SmartCrawl gives you complete control over how your breadcrumbs appear, making it easy to provide visitors with the information they need to navigate your site.

SmartCrawl’s breadcrumbs give you more SEO for your dough.

To activate SmartCrawl’s breadcrumb feature, go to SmartCrawl > Advanced Tools > Breadcrumb and click on activate.

Activate SmartCrawl’s breadcrumb feature to configure and use it on your site.

Activating the feature gives you access to a range of settings and options for configuring your breadcrumbs.

SmartCrawl gives you loads of breadcrumb customization options.

Configuring Breadcrumb Settings

Let’s go briefly over SmartCrawl’s breadcrumb settings:

Add Breadcrumbs to your Webpage – Add breadcrumbs to any page and anywhere on your website using a shortcode or adding PHP code to the template page.
Preview – This section lets you preview how breadcrumbs will display on your pages.
Breadcrumb Separator – Choose a breadcrumb separator from the list of presets or add your own custom separator using HTML characters.
Configurations – This section lets you enable additional breadcrumbs settings for your site, such as adding a prefix at the beginning of the breadcrumbs, adding home breadcrumbs to the trail, hiding the post title from the breadcrumb trail, or hiding the default WooCommerce product breadcrumb from your site if you use WooCommerce.
Breadcrumb Label Format – Here you can customize various breadcrumb label formats across your site, such as Post, Page, Archive, Search Results, and 404 Error Page label formats.
Deactivate – Deactivate the feature if you no longer want to display breadcrumbs on your site.

Let’s look at a few ways to customize breadcrumbs by tweaking SmartCrawl’s settings.

Choose a Breadcrumb Separator

The Breadcrumb Separator section lets you specify a separator symbol from a list of presets, but you can also add your own by entering HTML characters.

So, for this example, let’s add an emoji into the custom separator field…

Add your custom separator HTML.

Here’s the result…

Create fun trails for users with custom breadcrumbs.

Add a Prefix

You can also add a prefix to your breadcrumbs in the Configurations section…

Add a prefix to your breadcrumbs.

And here’s the result…

Happy trails…

Hide Title in Breadcrumb

Let’s do one more tweak and hide the post title from our breadcrumb trails…

You can hide the post title from displaying your breadcrumbs.

And here’s our customized breadcrumb sans title…

This humble breadcrumb is neither titled nor entitled.

Breadcrumb Label Formats

SmartCrawl gives you additional options to customize breadcrumb label formats across your site.

Customize breadcrumb label formats with a wide range of options.

This allows you to add additional information to your breadcrumbs such as post authors, dates and time, your site title, etc.

Customized breadcrumb label formats? Is there anything SmartCrawl won’t do?

SmartCrawl… the Crumb de la Crumb of Breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs improve your website’s SEO and search engine visibility, provide visitors with an easy way to navigate your site, reduce bounce rates, and increase click-through rates.

Smartcrawl’s breadcrumb feature is customizable, flexible, user-friendly, SEO-friendly, and compatible with all WordPress themes and plugins.

Additionally, SmartCrawl automatically ads breadcrumb schema markup and the ability to specify a primary category for posts and product pages with multiple categories assigned.

SmartCrawl is the free SEO plugin that lets you have your cake and eat it too… right down to the tastiest breadcrumbs!

See our documentation section for more information on using this feature and, if you have any questions, ask our 24/7 support team or check out our new AI Assistant by clicking the Support tab inside The Hub.

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