How to remove duplicate title tags in WordPress

If you are using Google Search Console reports to keep track of the overall SEO performance of your WordPress website, you may have come across a duplicate title tags message. And let us assure you – you’re not alone. Meta tag issues can happen for several reasons. Sometimes it’s just due to a theme or plugin that is improperly configured. And this also happens because website owners don’t invest enough effort into writing unique post titles for each page. However, as duplicate title tags can hurt your SEO, fixing them as soon as possible is essential.

After reading this article, you’ll know exactly how to remove duplicate title tags in WordPress. Our SEO agency in Chicago will also show you: the common causes of duplicate title tags, ways they impact your rankings in search engine results, how to properly set up meta tags and blog post titles to prevent future issues, and much more. Use this article as a guideline to help you perfect your WordPress SEO build, allowing your business to reach wider audiences.

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remove duplicate title tags in wordpress

What are the 5 basic HTML tags?

Before we dive deeper into exploring different ways to remove duplicate title tags, it’s important to get a more comprehensive picture of the five basic HTML tags and learn how to use them properly. That is because achieving a good text-to-HTML ratio can prove beneficial for your website’s performance in search engines. Let’s start with title tags:

Title tags

The title tag displays as the clickable title in Google search results, making it one of the most important on-page site engine optimization elements. However, besides impacting whether or not the searchers decide to visit your pages, title tags also tell search engines what your content is about. In HTML, the title tag is written like this: <title></title>.

It is placed in the head section of the HTML code and is the first line of code between the <head> and </head> tags – above your tags for meta descriptions. 

When writing titles for your web pages, following best practices is important. A good rule of thumb is to keep titles 50-60 characters long, include keywords, and make sure that the content on your pages will deliver on the promises.

Meta description tags

While the impact of most meta tags on SEO decreased, writing meta descriptions is still very important. That is because meta descriptions appear in the search engine results pages (SERPs) and can help Google’s users understand what pages are about before clicking on them. Writing powerful meta descriptions can increase your website’s click-through rate (CTR) and improve traffic quality. That will eventually lead to higher search engine rankings. These are presented with the following syntax in HTML: 

<meta name=”description” content=”write your description here”>

Make sure to place meta description tags just under your title tags in HTML. However, remember that Google won’t always use meta descriptions you wrote using tags. The most popular search engine might replace them with content pieces from the body of your text.

Although creativity is desired when writing meta descriptions, sticking with some proven tactics is still a good idea. First, ensure that your meta descriptions don’t exceed 150-160 characters to ensure that they are fully visible in Google search results. Second, invest effort into writing an attention-grabbing description to attract more visitors. However, if you have a large website and lack inspiration, you can save time by simply skipping this process for a page or two.

Heading tags

Heading tags are HTML tags used to indicate headings and subheadings on a web page. The most important heading tag is the <h1> tag, followed by the <h2> tag, and so on. It is important to use them to structure the content of a web page and make it easy for readers to scan the page and find the information they’re looking for. Heading tags also help crawlers better understand the content.

Keep in mind that you should use at most one <h1> heading tag per page. If possible, stick to h1-h3 tags. It will help you avoid confusing your visitors. And think of each heading as an opportunity to rank on SERPs – make them relevant to the users’ search queries.

Body tag

Body tags are used to define the main content of a web page. They are placed between the opening and closing <body> tags. You can use them to format text, add images, and create links. They are important for search engine optimization because they help search engines understand the structure of a webpage and its content. Remember that there can only be one <body></body> element per page.

Paragraph tag

Paragraph tags are HTML tags used to indicate a paragraph’s start and end. By using these tags, you can group your content to help search engines better understand your page structure. Paragraph tags also help to improve the readability of a page for users. They are written this way in HTML: <p></p>.

How do I set HTML tags in WordPress?

To set HTML tags in WordPress, you need to access the HTML editor for your post or page. To do this, click on the “Text” tab in the WordPress editor. That will switch the editor to the HTML code view, where you can make changes to the HTML tags.

When editing HTML tags in WordPress, it is essential to be careful not to break the code. If you are unfamiliar with HTML code, it is best to leave the tags as they are. However, if you are comfortable editing code, you can make changes to the tags to change how the content is displayed on the page. Once you have made your changes, be sure to click the “Update” button to save your changes.

What are duplicate title tags?

Duplicate title tags are a common SEO error that occurs when a website has multiple pages with the same title tag. That is a problem because search engine algorithms use title tags to understand the content of a page, and having multiple pages with the same title tag can make it difficult for the search engine to understand the page’s relevance. Additionally, duplicate title tags can affect the click-through rate from search engine results, as they are less likely to stand out from other results and entice users to click through. It is, therefore, essential to ensure that each page of your website has a unique and descriptive title tag.

Why do Duplicate Meta Descriptions and Titles happen in WordPress?

In order to learn how to remove duplicate title tags in WordPress, you first need to understand what causes this issue. We’ve come up with a list of the most common reasons; see if it applies to you:

  • There is more than one version of a page – Having mobile and desktop versions of a web page can cause duplicate title tags because the same title tag will be included in both versions. That can confuse search engine algorithms, as they may not recognize the different versions of the same page. 
  • Using the same template for multiple pages – Another common reason duplicate content occurs is that the website owner uses the same template for multiple pages. That’s why we advise you to hire a professional WordPress website design agency instead of opting for page builders and free website templates. Professionals can help you prevent duplicate meta descriptions and title tag issues by building your website from scratch.
  • Copy/paste human error – Duplicate title tags can occur when a website owner manually inserts the same or a similar title for multiple posts or pages. If your website is large, this mistake can happen occasionally. Just make sure never to do it intentionally.
  • Pagination – Paginated pages are pages of a website that are split into multiple separate pages in order to make the content more accessible, such as when a blog post is split into two pages. However, pagination can cause duplicate title tags if the same title tag is used across multiple pages.

Are duplicate title tags bad for SEO?

When learning how to do SEO for your website, it is crucial to understand which bad practices prevent businesses from achieving higher rankings in Google search engine results pages. Duplicate title tags and meta tags require special attention, as they are easy to slip through unnoticed. But how bad can they be for your SEO? While there’s no need to panic immediately after finding duplicate title meta descriptions across your website, ignoring this issue can prove fatal for your search engine optimization. Here is why:

Duplicate title tags can confuse search engines 

As search engines crawl through a website, they look for unique meta tags to understand the content of each page. Multiple pages containing the same title tag can lead to confusion and a decrease in rankings. To ensure your website is optimized correctly, it is important to make sure each page has a unique title tag and meta tags that accurately describe the content of the page.

Google may not index your pages with the same meta tags

The main problem with duplicate title tags on your website is that Google will only pick it once when indexing your pages. This way, the rest of your content may go to waste unless you learn how to remove duplicate title tags in WordPress. 

Your pages will compete with each other

If more than one of your page titles is the same, they will compete with each other in the search engine rankings. That is because search engines use title tags to determine the relevancy of a page to a user’s search query. As such, having two pages with the same title tag can lead to the search engine favoring one page over the other.

As you can see, having multiple pages with the same title tag can lead to a penalty from the search engine and diminish your rankings. To prevent this, you need to ensure that each page on your website has a unique title tag that accurately reflects the page’s content. Doing so will increase the chances of ranking each page high in Google search results.

How to detect duplicate title tags in WordPress?

Since it is no longer possible for website owners to find duplicate title meta description tags by using HTML Improvements feature in Google Search Console, you’ll need to find other tools. These are two of them:

  • Meta Tags Analyzer – As HTML Improvements feature is no longer available in Google Search Console, you might need to use Meta Tags Analyzer to find duplicate title tags. All you need to do is insert the URLs of your paginated pages, and this tool will give you a detailed report on your meta tags. If you already know how to remove duplicate title tags in WordPress, you can proceed to do it. Otherwise, keep reading this guide to find the suitable method for you.
  • Screaming Frog SEO Spider – There are both paid and free versions of this tool. With the free one, you can crawl up to 500 URLs. Once you install and launch Screaming Frog SEO Spider, enter the URL of your website in the input box. Upon clicking the start button, this tool will start analyzing your website. It might take some time, depending on its size. Once this process is complete, click on the Page Titles tab. All the potential issues will appear. And by clicking on the Meta Descriptions tab, you’ll be able to see issues related to your meta descriptions.

How to Fix Duplicate Meta Descriptions and Titles in WordPress

By now, you should have a list of all the URLs with the same page titles and meta descriptions. If that list is longer than you’d prefer, don’t worry. Fixing duplicate content problems is not complicated at all. You’ll need patience and, again, the right tools. Here is how to remove duplicate title tags in WordPress by using Yoast SEO plugin to add the page variable:

Use the Yoast SEO plugin to add the page variable

If your website contains subpages with duplicate meta descriptions or title tags, you can add page variables using various tools. For handling duplicate content issues, you can stick to the popular Yoast SEO plugin. Once you install it, you can proceed to configure title and meta description templates. Here is how to do it:

  1. Go to WP Dashboard, find the Yoast SEO plugin, and click on it
  2. Find Search Appearance>General>Post Types settings
  3. Insert %%title%% %%page%% in the title template field
  4. Insert %%excerpt%% %%page%% in the meta description template field
  5. Save your new settings
yoast and wordpress

This function will add the page number to the end of the meta description and title on subsequent pages of a paginated post in order to avoid duplicate content. But if you keep having a hard time ranking your pages high in search engines, look for other SEO areas that need improvement. Focus on writing high-quality content, building backlinks, enhancing your site structure, and similar – but also remember to check your website for SEO spam and other problems.

Fixing duplicate meta descriptions and titles with the RankMath plugin

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to remove duplicate title tags in WordPress, but only this time with a plugin called RankMath:

  1. Access RankMath from your WordPress Dashboard
  2. Click on Titles&Meta and then on Homepage settings
  3. Type in your title in the Homepage Title box.
  4. Add %%page%% page variable at the end
  5. Save settings, and this should solve your duplicate title tag issues for paginated pages

And to fix duplicate meta descriptions, you just have to add %%page%% at the end of your text in the Homepage Meta Description box. Now your website will be clear of duplicate meta title descriptions and ready to perform better in search engines.

Get in touch

Are you looking for a professional SEO boost for your website? Our WordPress SEO agency can help you strengthen your search engine optimization game in order to expand your audience and grow your online business organically. By partnering up with Alpha Efficiency, you’ll get the following:

  • A comprehensive SEO audit – done by our expert team
  • Long-term SEO strategy based on your unique business goals
  • Perfect WordPress website SEO build
  • Advanced link-building tactics
  • High-quality content for your website
  • Powerful meta descriptions and titles for each page
  • Regular SEO reports

We’ll help you ensure that each change you make on your website brings long-term SEO benefits. It’s never too early to start building a strong online presence and outperform the competition in search engines. So let’s get in touch – we look forward to learning more about your business and executing a winning SEO strategy for it.

Brian Djordjevic
About The Author

Brian Dordevic

Brian is Marketing Strategic Planner with a passion for all things digital. Feel free to follow him on Twitter or schedule a consultation call with him.

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