Improving Technical SEO with Sitelinks Breadcrumb Schema Markup, Sitelinks Search Box Schema, and Sitelinks Menu Schema
In this article, we review how we can add the Sitelinks Breadcrumb Schema Markup, Sitelinks Search Box Schema, and Sitelinks Menu Schema to a website.
Table of Contents
What is Sitelink Search Box?
A Sitelink search box is a feature that appears in Google search results when a user conducts a branded search for a specific website or organization.
The Sitelink Search Box feature is designed to enhance the user experience (UX) by allowing users to perform a site-specific search directly from the search results page without having to navigate to the website’s homepage first.
The Sitelink search box is a valuable feature for website owners because it can help users find relevant content more easily, potentially increasing user engagement while also improving the overall user experience.
Note that not all websites will have Sitelink search box since Google determines their appearance based on various factors.
What are Sitelinks Breadcrumbs?
Sitelinks Breadcrumbs are a type of search result feature that Google sometimes displays for certain websites in its search results.
Sitelinks Breadcrumbs provides users with a structured navigation path to the specific page on a website that is relevant to their search query.
Sitelinks Breadcrumbs can help users understand the hierarchy and organization of the website’s content and facilitate easier navigation.
Not all websites will have Sitelinks Breadcrumbs, as Google determines their appearance based on various factors.
These opportunities may be brought to your attention during a Technical SEO audit and in this case, this is relatively easy to accomplish when it comes to WordPress-based websites using the Schema Pro plugin for WordPress.
What are Sitelinks?
Sitelinks are the links shown below certain search engine results that aim to help users navigate to specific sections of a website quickly.
Sitelinks are automatically generated by search engines, such as Google, based on the site’s structure and the perceived importance of its pages.
When you search for a brand, organization, or website name, you may see the main search result for their homepage, followed by several smaller links underneath it.
The smaller links are sitelinks.
Sitelinks typically point to the most relevant or popular sections of the site like “Contact,” “Products,” “About Us,” and so on.
Consider the following: you search for a well-known organization or company, the first result might be their homepage, and then underneath you may also find Sitelinks leading to their blog, their shop, or other key sections.
Note that WordPress has many plugins so there could be other options available that can be used to add Sitelinks schema markup to a website.
Add Sitelinks Breadcrumbs, Sitelinks Search Box, and Sitelinks Menu with the Schema Pro plugin for WordPress
Not every website qualifies however you still need the schema code and this can be set below using the Schema Pro plugin for WordPress.
The site structure and query are important for Sitelinks to be displayed.
The process of generating Sitelinks is automated and also needs to be relevant to the visitor’s search query — the only control you have is over the menu.
From  “…for your site’s internal links, make sure you use anchor text and alt text that’s informative, compact, and avoids repetition.”.
The image below has pointers to the appropriate settings configured in the WordPress Schema plugin for SiteLinks, SiteLinks Breadcrumb, and SiteLinks Search Box functionality.
Testing via the Google Search Console: Rich Results Test
We can test that these changes are working via the Google Search Console: Rich Results Test — simply add the URL in the search box and run the test:
Step one: Add the target URL and run the rich results test.
The Google Search Console: Rich Results Test query page — enter the target URL, choose your device, and click on the “Test URL” button.
Step two: Review the Google Search Console: Rich Results Test results.
In the example below we can see that the page is eligible for rich results.
Step Three: Review the Google Search Console for Breadcrumb Schema Markup and Sitelinks Searchbox Enhancements
The third step will not appear in Google Search Console immediately however once the Google Search Engine has processed the Sitelinks breadcrumb schema markup and Sitelinks Searchbox enhancements something similar to the image on the right side, specifically with the enhancements marked by the red pointers, should be present under the “Enhancements” section of the website.
Visually testing Sitelinks Breadcrumbs, Sitelinks Search Box, and Sitelinks
Testing for Sitelinks Breadcrumbs, Search Box, and Menu can be done visually, by querying the website brand name in Google or Bing, however these changes won’t appear immediately and may not appear at all.
If the schema is working correctly we may eventually see something that looks similar to what we have in the following sections.
Viewing Sitelinks Breadcrumbs schema markup in search results
Sitelinks Breadcrumbs in search results act as a navigation aid that gives visitors an easy-to-understand overview of where the page is located on your website , they improve site navigation and usability, improves the ability for search engines to crawl a website, and can have a marginal impact on click-through rate (CTR) .
See the “Why aren’t breadcrumbs displaying in search results for my site?”, video below.
Viewing Sitelinks Search Box schema markup in search results
The Sitelinks Search Box provides a means for searching a given website right on the Google search results page — see below for an example.
Viewing Sitelinks Menu schema markup in search results
The Sitelinks Menu contains default menu choices — a user who clicks on one becomes a visitor and hence this can help improve the click-through rate (CTR) of a website.
Technical SEO Conclusion
In conclusion, we’ve covered two plugins that, taken together, can positively impact the technical SEO for a website, the user experience, as well as the security and page load time.
What other low-hanging fruits do you know of and what did you do to improve your website? Put your suggestions in the comments and we can discuss these in more detail.
Addendum: Site Navigation Breadcrumbs are not the same as Sitelinks Breadcrumbs
Not to be confused with site navigation breadcrumbs (see the Breadcrumb NavXT plugin), see below, which can be helpful for site navigation and usability purposes also.
- The Definitive Guide To Getting Google Sitelinks
- Google Sitelinks
- Google Sitelinks Search Box
- Everything You Need to Know About Breadcrumbs & SEO
- What are breadcrumbs and why are they important for SEO?
- How to (Maybe) Get Google Sitelinks and If They’re Worth Your Time
- Why aren’t breadcrumbs displaying in search results for my site?
- A Guide To Schema Markup & Structured Data SEO Opportunities By Site Type
- Why websites should be using HSTS to improve security and SEO
- How to Quickly Get Google SiteLinks for Your Site