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- What are page titles and why are they important?
- Page titles in WordPress
- Page titles in Drupal
The title tag of a web page is one of its most important elements as far as search engines are concerned, but one often misunderstood by site owners. The title of a page is not actually visible in the page itself: most browsers display it in the top bar of the browser window, and you’ll also see it in search engine listings.
You can find the title of a web page using a tool such as the Spider Viewer.
Because search engines give page titles a lot of weight it is important to pay some attention to them. Make sure:
- Your titles vary from one page to another of your site. If the name of your site appears, put it at the end rather than the beginning to emphasise the topic of the page.
- Your titles contain keywords that are relevant to the current page. These keywords should also appear in the page content as well.
- Your titles are written so as to attract readers. Remember they are the first thing many potential visitors will see of your site, when they appear in search engine results pages, so they should be as appealing as possible.
The page title does not have to be the same as the text displayed on the page as a header: as a general rule the page title should be longer, with a few more keywords added to help the search engines. Unfortunately many content management systems make it hard for users to maintain page titles in their own right. I’ll cover here what needs to be done for Drupal and WordPress sites to get good page titles.
The All in One SEO Pack plugin includes the facility to customise page titles. One tip: the front page title is maintained through the global settings for this plugin even when your front page is set to be a static page. So if you try to set the title through the editor for the static page, your efforts will be wasted.
An alternative is to use the SEO Title Tag plugin, if you don’t require the other features of All in One SEO.
The Page Title module for Drupal allows the page title to be edited as a separate item (distinct from the content title).
Additionally, the Title Rewrite module does a similar job, but automatically based on rules, which may be of interest if your content is mainly user-generated, for example.