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Breadcrumb Navigation

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Breadcrumb navigation is type of navigation featured on a page which allows the user to see where currently are; and where they previously were. The term is derived from the fairy tale “Hansel

and Gretel,” where the two main characters created a path laid down by breadcrumbs, so they could find their way back home. Basically, breadcrumb navigation allows user to retrace their previous steps in navigating a website.

There are 3 types of breadcrumb navigation. In this post, I will only mention them as you can do a search to find out more information: Path (most common), location (deeper content sites) and attribute (typical, E-Commerce).
One of the great benefits of using breadcrumb navigation is the user can always know exactly where they are in your website. In addition, if they want to jump to a higher navigation level, they can easily do so. Not only does this system assist in the ease of navigation for the user, it also quickly builds “website trust” that your site is professional and usable.

Saving Time

Another great benefit of breadcrumb navigation is the user sometimes gets “too far down the trail” and needs to reassess where they are. This navigation system allows the jump back to “another path” without having to completely start over again. If your website has many pages, this could literally save hours of lost time.

Lower Bounce Rates

Because breadcrumb navigation is so effective, your website’s bounce rate will be lowered as users can more easily find information and are ultimately happier. Happier users = a more successful website.
To learn more about breadcrumb navigation, please visit these resources:

http://www.nngroup.com/articles/breadcrumb-navigation-useful/
http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/03/17/breadcrumbs-in-web-design-examples-and-best-practices-2/

About the Author: Rhett DeMille, the owner of PalmettoSoft, is a leading search engine optimization  consultant located in the Charlotte NC and Charleston SC areas.

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