The SEO title output for the plugin doesn’t work as expected

Last update: 18 June, 2018

You've set up a template for your titles, but things get added to it when they're output? For instance, you're getting double titles? Your branding is showing up twice? The title doesn't match what you've entered into the settings?

Wrong Title Shows For

Theme Support

Themes with title-tag Support

If your theme is compatible with WordPress 4.1 and newer versions, it should declare theme support for the title-tag and remove all <title> calls from theme files to support dynamic titles.

Warning: Any manual edits made to theme files may be overwritten by future theme updates. You may wish to explore how to make a Child Theme to prevent this from happening. 

Does your theme declare title-tag support?

You can manually check your theme by looking for add_theme_support() in the functions.php file:

add_theme_support( 'title-tag' );

Does your theme still include <title> tags?

You can manually check your theme by viewing the appropriate header or template files for the <title> meta tag.

Not sure which template files impact a specific page? We recommend using the plugin What The File.

If the theme developer declares support for the title-tag, you should find zero <title> meta tags in theme files.

If the theme developer declares support for the title-tagbut included <title> meta tags, these must be removed for the title-tag support to work correctly.

If your theme has not properly implemented the new dynamic title method, please contact the theme's developer to request compatibility.

Themes without title-tag Support

If your theme does not declare support for the title-tag feature, you have two options: edit your theme files or use the force a rewrite option.

Edit Your Theme Files

Warning: Any manual edits made to theme files may be overwritten by future theme updates. You may wish to explore how to make a Child Theme to prevent this from happening. 

Search your theme's files for the title element. This is typically found in the header.php file. Change the title element to just this:

<title><?php wp_title(''); ?></title>

Force a Rewrite

Note: This can considerably slow down your site and is the least desirable option of the two. This is not available when your theme already supports dynamic titles as discussed here.

The second option is to enable "Force rewrite titles" on the SEO -> Search Appearance page.

  • Log in to your WordPress website. When you're logged in, you will be in your 'Dashboard'. On the left-hand side, you will see a menu. In that menu, click on 'SEO'.
  • The ‘SEO’ settings will expand providing you additional options. Click on 'Search Appearance'.
  • Under the 'General' tab, check the box "Enable force rewrite titles". This is not available when your theme already supports dynamic titles as discussed here.
  • Save changes.

Wrong Title for A Custom Post Types Page?

Make sure you have entered the right titles and metas into the right post type for the right field. For example, if you have a Custom Post Type you will have two parts to it: A Custom Post Type section and a Custom Post Type Archives section. Each has there own separate and titles and metas template.

Below is the custom post type of Products which is created from WooCommerce found in the 'Content Types' tab:

Below is the Custom Post Type Archives for Products (which can be found in 'Content Types' tab as well). You need to scroll down to see it:

Wrong Title for Other Pages?

Each post or page's title is automatically created by using template variables but can be overwritten at the post or page level. As the title is available to all plugins and themes, there are times when the Yoast SEO title is overwritten by another plugin or theme feature. If the template and the page level titles are correct, please check for conflicts.

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