Page Titles

The title of pages within your site should be descriptive of the content of the page and written to support their use in search engine results and social media. Search engines often prioritize page titles highly in the determination of search results. Readable, relevant titles are often the difference between a user clicking into the site and opting for one of the other listings.

Google search result display.

This is what a Google search result looks like for a well titled page.

The UMW standard is to display “<pageTitle> | Department” as the title of any given page within the umw.edu website.

The Importance of Unique Page Titles

It’s important to be aware that search engines penalize sites for duplicate page titles. It’s important to either generate relevant, unique page titles for every page on your site or to reorganize related content onto a single page.

From Siteimprove: Pages with identical titles will compete against each other and therefore weaken search engine optimization. The title of a page often appears in the search results page and as well as creating a unique title for each page to help search engine crawlers, it should also be done for the sake of your users.

Search Optimization

Page titles are used not only in displaying search results, but also in determining search placement for specific terms. On the UMW website, page titles also help generate the page slug, or the last part of the URL for a page. It’s important that the URL include top priority keywords. Learn more about effectively managing URLs for your site.

From Siteimprove: The title element is considered to be the most important place to identify keywords. Rankings are heavily influenced by keyword usage in the title tag. If you have pinpointed a keyword for a page, it should appear in the page title, and preferably as one of the first words.

Additional Resources – Page Titles: