turbocharged - 11:30 am on Sep 18, 2013 (gmt 0)
Yes, and better titles and descriptions can help you do that.
I would advise staying in the informational area as such a strategy would be a major flop if you sold physical goods. Many sellers of goods, including those that manufacture them, are seen in Google's serps well beneath the fold or beyond page 1. I fail to see how changing a meta title or description would have even a negligible impact on traffic when a site ranks for its primary keywords on page 2 or 3 of the serps. No visibility means your meta titles and descriptions are of no value at all when nobody can see them.
Sure, there are seo benefits to altering titles, and yes they sure can help your listing in Google draw more traffic if you are already ranked in a visible position. However, most webmasters don't have a problem that their meta title and description would fix. Their problem is that they rank well below paid ads, youtube videos, image blocks, wikipedia fillers and the anointed brands.
As Google has abandoned many small businesses, these business owners must employ a strategy that utilizes old school marketing to stay afloat. And for some of our clients it is working rather well. Direct mail and radio/television ads seem to be doing good and are great for expanding ones brand in the long-term. Form partnerships and by all means network with other business owners. Many cities have groups of business owners who refer their customers to other group member businesses. I've seen this to be quite fruitful for those who invest the time in networking in person and building relationships that pay dividends well into the future.
In conclusion, if Google is the only game in town then get out of that town and focus on efforts that produce results. Wasting time trying to tweak a site to rank above paid ads and anointed brands is simply a wasted effort in this environment.