Guide: Changing Title Formats For SEO
With SEO title formats, you can create a consistent structure for how your pages look in browser tabs, search engine results, and social posts linking to your content.
Read on to learn more about seo page titles and all of the different formats!
Edit SEO title formats
Your site includes default title formats for your pages, homepage, and collection items. For more customization, you can change them by adding, reordering, and deleting information in each field.
To edit a title format:
In the Home Menu, click Marketing, and then click SEO.
In the Search Appearance area, click the Home, Pages, or Items tab.
Edit the SEO Title Format field to include any of the variables below.
For the homepage, you can also add an SEO site description.
When you're done, click Save.
For the variables, use any of these:
%s - The site title
%p - The page's SEO title or page title if there is no SEO title
%i - The collection item's title, like an individual blog post, product, or event
You can also add custom text. For example, if you set your homepage title format to %s | Digital Branding Agency, your site title will always be followed by that text. This is a great way to optimize your title with keywords.
Page title format
The page title format is for all pages except your homepage and collection items. By default, the page title format is Page Title — Site Name, using the variables %p and %s.
%p pulls in the SEO title for that page. If the page doesn't have an SEO title, it pulls in the pagetitle instead.
Tip: To customize what appears per-page, keep %p in the title format and edit each page's SEO title.
A site called Healthy Living has a Blog Page with the SEO title Easy Vegan Recipes.
With the page title format %s - %p, "Healthy Living - Easy Vegan Recipes" will display in browser tabs when viewing the main Blog Page.
If the same site has an Events Page with the SEO title Upcoming Classes, that page will display as "Healthy Living - Upcoming Classes."
Homepage title format
The homepage title format sets how your homepage appears in browser tabs and search engine results. By default, it's your site title using the variable %s.
Homepages and the %p variable
A page's SEO title field disappears from Page Settings when you make that page your homepage.
If you add %p in the SEO panel's homepage title format, the text it displays depends on if you'd set an SEO title in Page Settings before making it your homepage:
If your page had an SEO title, %p uses that title. To change this, make a different page your homepage temporarily, change the SEO title, then set the page back as your homepage.
If your page didn't have an SEO title, %p uses the page title.
Note: The preview in the SEO tab of Page Settings for a homepage may show the pagetitle, rather than the SEO title.
Tip: To set completely different text, add custom text to the title format field rather than a variable.
Collection item title format
The collection item title format controls how collection items like blog posts, products, events, or album tracks look in browser tabs and search engine results. By default, the collection item title format is Item Title — Site Name, using the variables %i and %s.
The Healthy Living site has a blog post titled Healthy vegan dinners for one.
With the collection item title format %i - %s, "Healthy vegan dinners for one - Healthy Living" will display in browser tabs.
The site also has an event called Meal Planning Workshop. The event will display as "Meal Planning Workshop - Healthy Living" in browser tabs.
Tips for writing title formats
The order of information in title formats is up to you, and it'll depend on what parts of your brand or content you want to emphasize first in browser tabs or search engine results.
Prioritize your site or brand
To have your site title or company name be the first words in a browser tab or search results link, place your site title (%s) in the beginning of the title format.
This is a good choice for businesses or companies with brand recognition, where visitors will be searching for your brand by name.
Prioritize the page or item
To have the name of the page, product, or blog post be the first words in a browser tab or search results link, place the SEO title (%p) or item title (%i) at the beginning of the title format. This places more importance on the content of the page rather than the entire site.
For example, bloggers who want to have their blog posts ranked higher in search results might put the item title (%i) first in the collection item title format. This is also a good strategy if you expect that visitors will open your site's pages in many browser tabs at once. Having the page or item title first prevents the tabs from all looking the same.