The Hansel and Gretel approach to website navigation

Posted on January 3, 2011


hansel-and-gretelHansel and Gretel, those two witch-baking children from the tales of the Brothers Grimm, aren’t often called on for search engine optimisation, but there is one element of their tale that can help your site. Remember, if you will, how the adorable little crone murderers used breadcrumbs to navigate their way through the deep, dark forest.

There are two ways this trick of the fairy-tale pyromaniacs can assist with your SEO:

1. Breadcrumbs in your navigation

Why use breadcrumb navigation for your site? There are a couple of reasons. The first is, of course, that it makes things easier for your site’s users. Breadcrumb navigation works just as it did for Hansel and Gretel, with notes taken of every previous page visited and listed in a line at the top of the page. This helps to plant relevant links on all of your pages, assisting your SEO.

2. Breadcrumbs leading to your site

Thinking in terms of breadcrumbs can help your off-page SEO as well, but this time it’s time to think like the witch in the story. Laying out a trail of tempting breadcrumbs to pages deep within your site can help draw specific users to well-suited pages, and also boost the prominence of deep pages with Google. Product reviews and references within forums are both good ways to lay out breadcrumb trails.

While Hansel and Gretel’s breadcrumbs failed them when they were eaten by birds, breadcrumbs on the net are far more long-lasting. Lay out your little crumbs well.

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