Original product content is key to SEO success. Many distributors and retailers simply copy and paste the product content they get from manufacturers directly onto their product detail pages, but this leaves them at the mercy of Google. At worst, they can be punished for having duplicative content that already appears on a large manufacturers site. To get around you must have original copy that doesn't exist on other sites, including descriptions and headlines. And more original copy is better.
Followers of this blog know that I'm a big believer in both customer created product content and mining other people's blogs for original content. I came across another great SEO-inspired source of original content in Search Engine Journal called Quote Hunting
Quote Hunting: Great Original Product Content for SEO?
So what is quote hunting? Quote hunting is simply asking perceived experts in an area for a quote about something—in this case, products, or sets of products, or a company, or a product approach, or an ingredient, or really anything relevant to what you're selling. You basically come up with a list of people to get quotes from, and then ask them for quotes. The key is how you present it to them, and it has to be as an opportunity to spread their influence. As Search Engine Journal stated it:
Not only is their contribution small, but you’re asking them to promote themselves on your site, not the other way around. Do this with a large group of influencers and you’ve got yourself a recipe for attention and links.
But why is it important?
In the context of the original article, quote hunting is a way to generate inbound links from experts in the field. Inbound links are very important for SEO purposes, and would absolutely help retailers out as we've talked about before, but that's not what I'm going to focus on today. What I'm getting at is that the quotes themselves could be the cornerstone for original product pages on your site.
I've seen this in action on product sites I've worked on in the past. I've found that I can much more quickly get pages to rank and drive traffic when they're not focused on basic product descriptions, but rather benefits and use cases, since there tends to be less competition in Google for those phrases.
For example, instead of having the same SEO title for your product detail page as 100 other retailers (what do you rank now, 37th?), you could skip that game entirely and optimize a page around, "best speed enhancing nutritional supplement" if that phrase occurs in the quote. By doing on-site optimization around a phrase in a quote expressing the benefit of a product, and by getting a potential inbound link from the expert in the field to the page to showcase their quote as per the Search Engine Journal article, you've created a natural landing page for the product that competes in a completely different field from Amazon and the rest.
How much work is this?
This could be a fair amount of work, so I would definitely suggest using Odesk to farm out the actual searching for experts, leaving you to simply write the emails. Pick a couple key products that do not get much traffic from organize search from Google and see if you can come up with a benefits-oriented quote that performs better.
Test out the results. I'd love to know how it goes.