h1 is likely not the culprit, but let's find out
First of all, I'd wait about 2 weeks before doing anything. Google just finished rolling out their November spam update. SERPs are a bit volatile at the moment. Sit tight until the dust settles.
Below is all you need to think about when writing title tags and
h1's. Do this and your meta data should be just fine.
- Choose a primary and secondary (variant) keyword for a page. Your secondary keyword should be another way people refer to the primary one.
- Use your primary keyword somewhere in the title tag
- Use your variant in your H1 tag
- Write great content and publish it. Then wait 3 months, see how it's doing, and then think about tinkering with things.
Focus on writing in a captivating way that intrigues people. Use natural language. Also don't forget about your meta description. Go through this process once and if you get your rankings back, leave em alone!
If you don't then...
You can recover, but you need to find the problem first.
Like I said before, I would be surprised if your
h1 is the cause here, but I hope I'm wrong. We just wouldn't normally expect rankings to "plummet" like that because Google doesn't give the
h1 that much weight. Heck, I've ranked pages in the top 10 without having one! In my experience a significant drop like that is almost always due to one of the following:
- Penalty after a Google algorithm update
- An unrealized mistake caused a crawling/indexing issue
At this point you'd want to audit your site, dot your i's and cross your t's, and don't make any drastic changes until you know what's actually going on. Probably half the issues I find in audits are the result of a client trying to fix the problem.