Ensure meaningful page titles are used

Every web page must have a unique title that is meaningful to the user. Because people can visit a page out of context, for example directly from a search engine, the page title must be meaningful even when viewed in isolation.

The title also influences how search engines list our web pages and what a user will see when a match is made to their search. Meaningless or blank titles may result in users not finding your web pages.

  • Don't say: 'Frequently-asked questions'
  • Do say: 'Business Rates: frequently-asked questions'

Format for titles and sub-titles

Titles and subtitles on web pages should be expressed in sentence case - that is an initial capital letter followed by all words with lowercase letters. Proper names such as 'Salford City Council' should always use title case. See also 'city' or 'City'?.

Never, ever, use 'Welcome' on a page title!

Under no circumstances should the word "Welcome" be used on a page title (for example ' Welcome to the Business Rates home page').

The use of "Welcome" is unnecessary, tends to cheapen the professional image of web pages and is generally ignored by web users anyway. Instead, use a meaningful page title relevant to the content of the web page.

Navigation bar consideration

Whilst meaningful page titles need to be used, the restricted space available on the navigation bar means that you need to be careful with the link text used to describe the page that will be displayed if the link is visited.  So, for example, whilst the full page title for the page you are viewing is "Ensure meaningful page titles are used", the link text is left simply as "Use meaningful titles".

This page was last updated on 3 October 2009

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