One of the most important elements in your organic SERP is the meta description. While it’s well known that bolded keywords increase click through, many SEO professionals fail to take advantage of the surrounding message.
Since tracking CTR is extremely difficult to accurately do with natural search (unknown amount of keyword searches on a given day, seasonality, etc.), it becomes equally difficult to determine the real effectiveness of your meta description.
To combat this, I suggest testing various ideas and keywords using paid search. For example, customers may click through more when your paid search ad offers free shipping instead of mentioning product reviews. They may prefer a coupon over a money-back guarantee. Maybe they simply want to know about your secure checkout.
Whatever the different options may be for your site, if you find the ones performing best in paid search you can then be sure to include those words (ideas) in your meta description. Doing so will insure your organic ranking reaches its potential.
Do you have any success stories using this tactic? Do you have the control, or enough communication with a paid search department, to pull this off? Please leave a comment and share any ideas you have as to how paid search and SEO can work together for maximum success.
Also, here’s the related post on how to test your keywords with PPC.