Web standard - unique and meaningful page titles
The page title must be unique and meaningful, conveying the main subject of the page.
Reason for this web standard
Good practice and usability
Hints and tips
- Your page must have a unique title. Matrix will not allow you to save your page if it has the same title as another page.
- The page title must also be meaningful and accurately describe the content of the page.
- Avoid jargon, abbreviations or acronyms in your titles as these may not be understood by everyone.
- Titles need to make sense when they are read out of the context of a page, for example in search results.
- Try to make your title as specific as you can (without being too long – see the standard for title length).
- Try to sum up the purpose of your page in as few words as possible including the most important information.
- Think of the words people may look for when trying to find your page and include these in your title.
- Read your title out loud to a colleague to see if they can tell what the page is about from the title alone.
- Inspections - This is too vague. Reading the title by itself doesn't give you a clear idea of what the page is about. It would be better to be more specific. For example, Hedgerow inspections or Vehicle safety inspections
- Excavation site 10 – This title would be much better if it was more descriptive. Where is excavation site 10? Godstone excavation site may be more helpful.
- How to contact SCC – For this title to be useful you have to know what SCC stands for. Is it Surrey County Council or Surrey Cricket Club? Or something else? Avoid using acronyms or abbreviations in a title. How to contact Surrey County Council would be a much better choice.
- Out with the old and in with the new – This title is too obscure and it isn't clear what subject the page is about.
- Youth clubs in Guildford – This is a good title. Even without seeing the page, the title gives you a clear indication of what the page will be about.
Why we have this web standard
Good practice and usability - It is good practice to have meaningful titles as it improves the usability of the site by helping people find the information they are looking for quicker. People will determine from the page title whether to open a page or not. This is particularly true when a page title is listed in search results, both the internal search for the Surrey County Council website and external search engines, such as Google or Bing, as people will want to decide at a glance if a page includes the information they are looking for or not.
A good title that clearly conveys what a page is about will:
- improve the page's placing in search engine results
- help people to find the page
- set readers' expectations of what the page will contain
Related web standards