DEV 1.8 – Provide an accurate and informative page title
Why is this important?
Page titles are for more than internal use and search engines. They are also used by users to locate content when they are searching through browser tabs or open windows.
Users with visual impairments may use screen readers to read out the names of tabs or windows when navigating between them. Those with cognitive impairments or reading disabilities may also benefit from concise summaries of the content and the purpose of the page.
Making sure your page titles are accurate and descriptive. This ensures all users can easily identify whether or not the web page is relevant to their needs.
Give each page a unique <title>
The <title> element is the text that appears in the window bar at the top of the browser and as the default name for bookmarks. It is also the first thing a screen reader will announce when the page loads so it is very important for letting the user know where they are. For these reasons, it is very confusing if you have identical titles on many pages.
- If each page on your website has a unique title users will be able to find your content easily amongst a set of bookmarks or in a set of open browser tabs;
- You should ensure your website or organisation name is included in the title but towards the end, so that the unique page title is the most visible part;
- The page title should correlate with the main heading on your page, for example, the <h1>
Web applications may use the name of the document or web application as the title
If the different states of the application have fundamentally different purposes, it may be helpful to update the title to reflect the currently displayed state, for example, “Saved”, “Summary”.
Figure 1 - The title bar text of a word document, whilst editing
Figure 2 - The title bar text of a word document, once saved
Examples of good practice
Identifying the most important information first allows users to quickly orientate themselves on a webpage.
- <title>Contact us - NDA</title>
- Note: Failing to include the company name would make the title confusing if read in isolation
- WCAG Technique G88: Providing descriptive titles for Web pages
Examples of bad practice
Using default titles like 'Untitled Document', or uninformative filenames such as '28-10-21.html'
- Avoid using text that is overly generic, or only refers to the site name and not the page contents
- WCAG Failure F43: Title of a Web page not identifying the contents
EN 301 549 v 2.1.2
- 220.127.116.11 Page Titled