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How to write titles for content on GOV.WALES.

First published:
12 February 2020
Last updated:

Writing a good title

The title (along with the summary) should tell users if the content on the page is the content they are looking for.

Use language that our users will understand. The public may not know our official name for something.

Keep titles short. Aim for 65 characters or less as:

  • search engines will not show anything after 65 characters
  • longer titles are harder to understand

Use active titles when asking users to do something, for example:

  • apply for
  • check
  • subscribe to
  • find out
  • register for
  • log in to

Use keyword tools such as Google Trends to find the language that users are searching for.

Ensure titles are unique and make sense out of context. It is not helpful for users to see many pages with the same title, for example ‘application form’. Make this more specific for example 'Freight Facilities Grant application form'.

Avoid over simplification. For example, 'Contact the Planning Inspectorate' instead of 'Contact us'.

Front-load titles so the most important words are at the beginning of the sentence.

Consider using colons:

  • to help users associate small groups of closely related content
  • to front-load titles

If there are many pages with a repeated phrase, change the title so that the main item comes first. For example ‘welfare standards for sheep’ and ‘welfare standards for cows’ become ‘Sheep: welfare standards’, ‘Cows: welfare standards’.

Titles do not end with a full stop.

Titles for publication pages

Titles can be different to the official document title. You can use the official title for the attachment or mention it in the summary or page copy if you think users will search for that term.

Use the year in the title if the page is part of a series with the same title. For example:

  • Glastir Organic 2017: rules booklet
  • Glastir Organic 2016: rules booklet  

When adding meeting minutes, you should use the organisation name followed by details. For example 'Welsh Revenue Authority board meeting'. The date will automatically be included in the title from the meeting date field.

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