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Writing accessible web page titles and summaries

How to write clear, descriptive, and accessible page titles and summaries for the University website.

Page titles must be accessible

Every content item in Typecase must have a title and summary which is accessible to anyone who uses our website.

Accessible page titles are descriptive and clear so users can easily understand what the web page is about and if it’s relevant to their needs, even if they see it out of context.

As a public sector body, we're legally required to make the content on our website as accessible as possible. The government checks our content to make sure it complies with the internationally recognised guidelines from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

W3C provides guidance for understanding Success Criterion 2.4.2 Page Titled (Level A) as part of their Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

Find out more about accessibility or contact if you have any questions.

Writing page titles

Your page title should make it easy for users to find the content they're looking for. It appears with the page summary in search results, filtered lists, and where the page is pinned to another page. A clear title also makes it easy for people to find the page they need when they have lots of browser tabs open.

The Title field in Typecase allows up to 100 characters, including spaces. This is so the end of your page title isn't cut off when it appears in search results on sites like Google.

Think about the user need

When you write a page title, think about the user need for the page.

Write a title based on what the user wants to do or know about. For example, you would use something like ‘Reviewing web content’ for the user story:

As a member of staff
I need to know how to review content on the website
So I can check it’s correct before publishing it

Use simple words

Write your page title using simple words people are likely to search for.

Don’t use jargon or other phrases they’re not likely to search for, for example, the names of marketing campaigns.

Be descriptive

Use the page title to describe what the page is about. For example, a page title describing a task, like 'Creating a page in Typecase', should be on a page that guides people through that process.

Be specific

Make your title as specific as possible so people can tell what the page is for without knowing the context of your other pages.

If you use a generic page title, people may not understand the context. For example, there are many different strategies on the University website, so use 'Procurement strategy', not just 'Strategy'.

Typecase won’t save a page if it has the same page title as another page in the same content type. For example, there can’t be two Guides called 'Creating a page in Typecase'. This is because the content type and the page title form the URL of the page, such as This helps you check that your page title is specific because Typecase tells you if it’s been used before, but it also means you could stop someone using a suitable title for their page if you use one that’s too generic.

Think about word order

Put the most important information first in your title. This can make it easier for people to distinguish your page from similar pages.

Things to avoid in page titles

Don't use full stops in page titles.

Don't include 'University of Bath' unless it's part of an official name ('University of Bath Hardship Fund', for example).

Don't write titles as questions because questions can give a sense of uncertainty, rather than projecting confidence in the information we're providing. However, you can use question words to make a statement without a question mark at the end. For example, you can use ‘Why you need to maintain your web content’.

Don't create pages of 'Frequently asked questions' or 'FAQs'. People search for the information they need, not for FAQ pages.

Don't use slashes (\ or /) because they make it harder for people to read and search for the title. Use 'and' or 'or' instead.

Don't use exclamation marks in titles as they make the content seem unprofessional or too casual.

Writing page summaries

Include more detail in your page's summary than in its title. Don't repeat the page title in the summary but expand on it to help people decide if this is the right page for them.

The page summary appears with the title in search results, filtered lists, and where the page is pinned to another page.

The summary field allows up to 160 characters, including spaces. Use full sentences and end the summary with a full stop. Sometimes it’s better to use two or three sentences for a summary instead of one long one, which can be hard to read.

Consider the user

Think about your audience and refer to your user story as you write your summary. User stories help us focus on what the user wants to achieve, so describe that in the summary to help people decide if it’s the right page for them.

You should say who the page is for and give a brief description of some of the key points it covers.

For example, imaging you're writing a summary for this user story:

As a member of staff
I need to know how to review content on the website
So I can check it’s correct before publishing it

You could write something like, ‘Why you must review other people's changes to web pages and what to look for before you or a colleague publishes them on the University website.’

Write in the active voice

Use the active voice and address the reader directly.

The active voice is more engaging and appealing to people than the passive voice. For example, you should write, ‘How to apply for an undergraduate scholarship’, not ‘How undergraduate scholarships can be applied for’.

Contact us

If you have any questions, please get in touch.

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