I'm working on a microsite which has only one level of navigation.

The SEO guy wants a breadcrumb on each page, but it doesn't make any sense for me as there is no level of navigation.

Also HOME links to another site, and I think it can cause confusion for the users.

HOME > Project Management Guide > Chapter 1

Any good arguments I can use to help my case?

  • Are there several hashes in each page you are using in the browser address? Home#something
    – Alvaro
    Jan 12 '17 at 18:32
  • no, they are not. The address only show the title of the page: Jan 12 '17 at 18:35
  • It sounds confusing to me because you say there are no levels but you show HOME > Project Mangement Guide > Chapter 1, which looks like different levels.
    – Alvaro
    Jan 12 '17 at 18:44
  • Yes, that is why I don't want breadcrumb. Home re-direct to a different site, Project management guide re-direct to the first page. SEO says it is good for referential on google... Jan 12 '17 at 18:47
  • Home link to another site from the company. Jan 12 '17 at 18:49

The SEO Guy should be doing SEO, not design

This is less an SEO vs, UX issue, than a problem where your SEO guy thinks he knows more than he does about how to design a site.

I'm a big fan of breadcrumbs — where they make sense. Here, they don’t. As you mentioned, the site isn’t “deep” enough to warrant them.

Worse, clicking the “Home” button on the breadcrumbs and ending up in a different navigation hierarchy is confusing and annoying.

Listen to the SEO requirements inside the design advice

Instead of trying to design the site, the SEO guy could have said something like:

We need consistent internal linking on the top of every page of the site, with text anchors not images, including linking back to the corporate home page.

Let your colleague know you understand these needs. Then, come up with a counter-proposal for top navigation which meets those requirements, but has better UI/UX.

Ditch “Home” as an anchor link — use a relevant keyword

If you put the name of the corporate site in the link, or other keywords you are targeting, instead of the SEO-useless string “HOME” you can show that you are taking SEO concerns seriously. You are not trying to rank for the word “home,” are you?

  • 1
    +1 for "Ditch “Home” as an anchor link", I too was very uncomfortable with the word as it's pretty misleading causing all the confusion.
    – TDsouza
    Jan 13 '17 at 6:55

The primary argument here is that this is terrible design because it contradicts user expectations - it forces them to make mistakes and will result in confusion and diminished trust.

The secondary argument is that anyone who's been listening to Google for the past 5 years will know that prioritizing SEO over UX or usability is ass backwards. Google actively demotes sites that are poorly designed, so "doing SEO" to get more users to your bad site is a complete waste of time.

The best possible SEO is to make a unique valuable resource that is a joy to use.

User expectation: A home button should take the user back to the main landing page for that site or app.

User expectation: Words that appear at the top of a page, separated by slashes or angle brackets, are clickable links to the named locations.

1. Make the breadcrumbs into page headings

If he's insisting on have these words on the page, design them as headings. Even without knowing his keyword strategy, I think 'Project Management Guide" is going to work better as an h1 tag, than masquerading as part of a breadcrumb nav.

Something like:

Project Management Guide

Chapter 1

In the beginning...

2. Get rid of the misleading "Home" link.

If you really want a user to think "WTF!?" put a Home link in the top left corner of a page that links to another website.

This needs to go. Make it descriptive text link on the page, or in a secondary link area (like the top right corner).

3. Have your SEO guy brush up on the UX vs SEO debate


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