How To Fix Duplicate Title Tags In WordPress (3 Simple Steps)

As a website owner, few things are more frustrating than suddenly seeing duplicate title tags appear without warning. You may wonder!

  • What caused these duplicates? 
  • How will they impact your site? 
  • What steps can you take to quickly fix them before lasting damage occurs? 

This comprehensive guide on how to fix duplicate title tags in wordpress answers common questions site owners face when this issue pops up and provides 3 simple methods to rectify it fast.

What Exactly Are Duplicate Title Tags in WordPress?

Ideally, the title succinctly communicates what unique content readers can expect to find on that specific page. Duplicate title tags occur when two or more pages end up displaying an identical title for different content. This confuses search engines in assessing relevancy. 

Users clicking results expecting one topic and seeing another topic entirely also hurts the user experience. So eliminating duplicate titles helps optimize both SEO and site usability.

What Causes These Duplications & Why It Matters

There are a few common culprits for duplicate WordPress title tags:

  • Conflicting SEO plugins like Yoast and RankMath
  • Themes using outdated title tag code
  • Archives created by pagination

No matter the cause, the negative impact stays the same. At best, duplicate titles dilute the effectiveness of individual pages by making the site seem hastily put together. But at worst, search engines may assume the conflict represents shady tactics and penalize affected pages in rankings.

So fixing this quickly should be a priority since it can directly influence traffic and conversions. Let’s explore 3 simple methods for eliminating duplicate title tags from WordPress sites.

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How To Fix Duplicate Title Tags In WordPress

How To Fix Duplicate Title Tags In WordPress

Duplicate title tags threaten both user experience and search visibility, identifying and resolving the triggers is quite manageable using these 3 straightforward troubleshooting steps.

Step 1: Identifying Duplicate Title Tags

The first step is actually finding duplicate title tag instances. Here are quick methods for the detection of duplicate tags:

Use SEO Tools Like SEMrush

SEO crawlers like SEMrush, Moz, or Screaming Frog automatically scan sites for duplicate usage across pages. The tools output a report listing affected URLs for further diagnosis.

Manually Check Title Tags

Less tech-savvy users can manually review a sample of site pages and check for identical browser tab titles in the preview. It’s more time-consuming but costs nothing extra.

Review Plugin Warnings

If you use an SEO plugin like Yoast, it may display warnings when creating new pages with titles matching existing pages too.

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Pro Tip

Create a staging site first before making changes on a live production site to safely test fixes.

Step 2. Removing Duplicate Title Tags

Once duplicates are confirmed, here are common resolution tactics to  fix duplicate title tags in wordpress :

Tactics 1: Switch to a WordPress Default Theme

The first troubleshooting step is changing your existing theme to rule that out as the culprit. Under “Appearance > Themes”, swap your current theme for a default one like Twenty Twenty-Two that won’t cause conflicts.

If the duplicate titles disappear, you know customizations in your original theme are contributing to the problem. As fixes, you can either alter the theme code directly, use a child theme to override areas causing issues or replace the problematic theme completely.

Tactics 2: Disable Plugins Until Finding the Conflict

If the title tag duplication persists even after switching themes, disable all plugins except essentials like security and performance tools.

You can temporarily deactivate plugins within WordPress. But disabling all of them at once requires renaming the /wp-content/plugins folder on your host.

With plugins disabled, only the theme should be generating title tags. Now reactivate plugins one by one, checking if duplicates return after each. By process of elimination, you’ll find the conflicting extension. Delete the problematic plugin completely rather than trying to alter its code.

Tactics 3: Update Outdated Theme Functions

If disabling plugins and switching themes fails to resolve the duplicate titles, legacy theme code is likely the culprit. Specifically, sites using older themes may still contain wp_title() instead of the newer add_theme_support( ‘title-tag’ ) PHP functions.

Manually edit your active theme’s PHP files to replace deprecated references. This teaches WordPress to follow modern title tag standards resolved in version 4.1 and later. Just take care not to accidentally break the intended theme functionality through incorrect edits.

Pro Tip

Leverage Find and Replace tools to systematically locate and swap deprecated title tag code patterns across all theme files at once.

Step 3: Best Practices for Unique Title Tags

Preventing duplicate titles from cropping up again involves smart strategies like manually checking titles before publishing new pages and posts – it takes 10 seconds.

Configure installed SEO plugins correctly using official guidance. Periodically review the site using automated SEO crawlers to catch issues early. Update themes and extensions regularly to fix released bugs. Scrutinize settings on ancillary marketing tools like analytics, social, etc as well.

By taking a proactive stance and incorporating title tag audits into your regular site maintenance regimen, you’ll safeguard their uniqueness proactively versus reacting after the fact. 

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Pro Tip

Finding a reassuring peace of mind from that small added consistency pays dividends in both visitor experience and channel authority.

Importance of Addressing Duplicate Title Tags( 5 Core Reasons)

How To Fix Duplicate Title Tags In WordPress

Let’s explore 5 core reasons why taking action to fix duplicate usage protects both visitor experience as well as search visibility:

Reason 1: Protects Rankings

From an SEO standpoint, duplicate tags scramble the relevancy signals search engines analyze to understand what specific pages focus on. 

Identical titles across blog posts, product descriptions, support articles, etc make it tougher for crawlers to accurately index themes and tag topics too. Duplicate tags muddle the relevancy signals search engines rely on to accurately index pages and tag site topics. This scrambled signaling risks pages being downgraded or omitted entirely from results in severe cases. 

Eliminating clashes helps each page send strong uniqueness signals – and protects rankings accordingly.

Reason 2: Optimizes User Experience

When visitors click on a specific title from search engines, seeing completely unrelated content on your actual page causes confusion and frustration, quickly deflating interest. Unique descriptive titles set accurate expectations to deliver what’s promised.

The goal of fixing duplicate title tags remains to have every page proudly display its distinct identity – for both human and machine consumption. It demonstrates attention to detail toward quality content creation and care for the user journey – building authority and trust marks for your brand over time.

Reason 3: Demonstrates Quality Site Dev

Hastily duplicated titles reflect poorly on overall site quality, suggesting scrappiness or negligence from developers and site owners alike.  Incorporate staging sites in your process so major troubleshooting never threatens production site stability or metrics.

Eliminating them helps showcase disciplined attention to detail in content creation and care for the user journey.

Reason 4: Reduces Bounce Rates

By setting aligned expectations with titles reflecting the content delivered, visitors remain engaged longer versus bouncing away disappointed by disconnects between promising headings and actual page focus. Higher dwell time signals relevancy to search engines as well.

Reason 5: Safeguards Brand Reputation

As minor as they may seem, duplicate title tags can tangibly undermine brand trust and credibility over time if left unchecked. Just like messy grammar or broken links, a visible lack of care winds up reflected in perceptions around professionalism and reliability.

Lean on the window browser tab preview to quickly spot duplicate usage across pages as you publish new content.

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FAQs About How To Fix Duplicate Title Tags In WordPress

Outdated theme code, conflicting SEO plugins like Yoast and RankMath, and pagination without adjustments for archives often cause duplicate WordPress title tags. The outdated theme code issue in particular impacts older themes not updated.

SEO tools like SEMrush, Moz, and Screaming Frog Crawl can detect duplicate title tags site-wide via automated scans. You can also manually check through site pages and use the browser tab title preview to compare across content.

The quickest method is to temporarily switch to a basic default theme like TwentyTwenty. Often the theme’s coded functions cause conflicts so eliminating it as a factor can isolate the issue.

If you still see duplicate title tags even after disabling all plugins and switching themes, some additional detective work is needed. Log into your server via SFTP or cPanel and check theme template files.

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Conclusion: 

The guide on how to fix duplicate title tags in wordpress has covered the primary causes of duplicate WordPress title tags, outlined steps to fix title tags, and reinforced the importance of protecting rankings by addressing the issue promptly.

Follow these best practices and your WordPress site’s titles will showcase unique, SEO-optimized pages once more.

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