Breadcrumbs schema mark-up: The benefits and how to implement

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Matthew Ford

    Similar to making the perfect scotch egg, getting breadcrumbs to stick in Google search results can be tricky at first and if you do succeed – is it even worth it?

    Breadcrumbs meme

    There has been a long-standing argument over the true SEO value of breadcrumbs. Some people argue that the benefits are detracted by the effort required to implement them, whereas others believe that the fact that they aid the user is an important enough reason alone.

    I believe that if your website has a large amount of content with defined categories and not a single-level website, breadcrumbs are absolutely the way to go.

    Not convinced? Let me explain some of the benefits of using breadcrumbs in more detail.

    Primarily, breadcrumbs are beneficial as they show the user the exact location of the product they are looking at and present an easy path to finding other products. Users can also get an insight into what to expect on a website.

    This is particularly handy when setting up an account, as it makes the user aware of the entire process. Furthermore, it makes websites more navigable for users – now you don’t have to constantly hit the back button.

    Moving on to breadcrumbs from a search engine’s POV, to put it simply, Google loves them. Search engines are always looking for ways to figure out how a website is structured. If Google displays the breadcrumbs for your website in search results, you’ll enjoy more links in each search listing and an increase in click-through rate.

    After all, the fact that some of the most successful global websites are using them means you should probably take them seriously.

    So, now you know why you should utilise breadcrumbs for your site, you naturally want to know how to do it.

    How to use breadcrumbs

    Firstly, forget the classic ways of writing structured data using RFDa and Microdata.

    Thanks to JSON-LD, the task of adding structured data to your website has become significantly less daunting. However, one downside must be noted – certain search engines are slow to adopt it, such as Bing.

    I suggest reading the following, for starters:

    Moving swiftly on, below you will find a code example that needs to be placed in the <head> section of each page. This example is for a page with only 3 “levels” within the breadcrumb navigation. However, the more levels a breadcrumb navigation has, the more “ListItem” types need adding. Both the “@id” and “name” attribute need to be dynamically populated with the breadcrumb navigation, which is on the pages of the website.

    You can use this example as a template to add schema mark-up to enhance your website’s breadcrumb navigation in search results:

    <script type=”application/ld+json”>


    “@context”: “”,

    “@type”: “BreadcrumbList”,

    “itemListElement”: [{

    “@type”: “ListItem”,

    “position”: 1,

    “item”: {

    “@id”: “”,

    “name”: “Home”



    “@type”: “ListItem”,

    “position”: 2,

    “item”: {

    “@id”: “”,

    “name”: “Football”



    “@type”: “ListItem”,

    “position”: 3,

    “item”: {

    “@id”: ””,

    “name”: “English”




    Implementing breadcrumbs is no longer such an intimidating thought, right?

    Challenge accepted meme


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