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Page Titles

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The first thing a screen reader user hears is the page title. A good page title tells the user what the page’s purpose and intent is; a bad title forces the user to go read the page to find out.

The page title also displays in the window or tab of the browser, making it easier for all users to switch between tabs and find the information they’re looking for.

Page titles also enhance search engine optimization.

Do

  • Ensure a <title> is available in the page <head>.
  • Ensure the <title> is not blank.
  • Ensure the title identifies the purpose or identity of the page in a way that’s useful to everyone, but especially to people who can’t see the screen.
  • Ensure that the title reflects any user actions. For example, if the user searched for “Warranty” then the page title might be <title>Warranty - Search results</title>
  • Keep the title concise.
  • Try to ensure the <title> is unique in the site if possible. If multiple pages have the same title text, telling them apart by title is pretty difficult. (Remember, the page title identifies the page in the browser tabs!)
  • Put unique information first in the <title>. For example, the purpose of the page should go ahead of the fact that it’s a [company] page. Be like CNN: lead with the article title or task the user is doing, then list the company.
  • Try to ensure that the <title> and the <h1> match or at least are recognizable as the same text.

Don’t

  • Skip the <title> .
  • Leave the <title> blank.
  • Make the front of every <title> tag the same. Don’t be Amazon: they lead every page title with “Amazon.com:”