How To: Fix WordPress SEO Yoast Duplicate Titles

So you’ve installed SEO Yoast for your WordPress website, good for you – it’s a great plug-in that will give your site a good entry level SEO overhaul and help you get to grips with how to optimise your website. We use Yoast in pretty much all of our WordPress builds, as it gives our clients the simple option of optimising their own content, allowing them to move away from dependence on SEO support for basic blogging and content amendments.

However, there can be one INCREDIBLY frustrating side effect to installing Yoast on your WordPress… the dreaded duplicate page titles *dun dun dunnnnn*

Google et al. doesn’t like any webpage to have more than one specified page title – from an SEO point of view it is a big no no and should be avoided wherever possible. However, on some occasions (usually depending on your version of WordPress or the design/theme you’ve got installed) there’s a bug within Yoast that causes each web page on your site to have the page title … TWICE?

There are a few fixes floating around, but the four we’ve most commonly found that work are as follows:

FIX 1: Log into WordPress and go to the Yoast plugin options. It should be labeled ‘SEO’ on the menu bar. Go to ‘Search Appearance’ and under the ‘General’ tab you should see an options for ‘Rewrite titles.’ Make sure this is set as disabled. Did that work? If it is already set as disabled, set as enabled, and check again… any luck? If not, try this…

FIX 2: In your Yoast plugin options, still under ‘Search Appearance’ but this time under the ‘Content Types’ tab – delete all of these: %%term_title%% Archives %%page%% %%sep%% %%sitename%% for Posts, Pages and any other custom post/product/category types that show up, then click save. Has that fixed it? CAUTION: This may delete existing meta data. Skip to next step if you’re worried about deleting existing meta data.

FIX 3: Hmm, still not fixed eh, we’re going to have to get a bit technical… Do you have access to edit the header.php file? You’re going to need it! Find the <title> tag… got it? Right, now replace it with this: <title><?php wp_title(”); ?></title> and click save… did that work? If not, we have one more attempt 🙂

FIX 4: Delete the entire piece of code you just pasted in – <title><?php wp_title(”); ?></title> and click save again. Odds are, you have 2 <title> sections and you need to delete one.

If for any reason NONE of the four above solutions work on your WordPress, please get in touch using the form on the right or leave a comment below. If this fixes your problem, GREAT – let us know which one worked for you!