Krillion Localizes E-Commerce With SEO

Krillion, the retail search engine optimizer whose motto is “find national brands, locally,” is now getting 65,000 unique visitors per month and more than 200,000 page views to its appliances, the first of many planned verticals. A second vertical, still unannounced, is currently being readied for release.

The 12-person company, funded by Hummer Winblad, is unique in its emphasis on SEOing major chains for local search – much akin to what TripAdvisor does for travel. It is about as far from a “destination” site as you can get – although social features are being developed that might change that.

In the six months since its release, the company has been particularly focused on getting out of the “Google Sandbox,” in which new sites are under-ranked, and ramping up its SEO efforts on all the search engines. The company has also formed a number of key relationships, including ShopLocal, eStara and BlogHer, a women-oriented blogger site.

“The (retail SKU) data is online, but it is unstructured,” says Joel Toledano, Krillion’s cofounder and CEO. “It is effectively invisible to crawlers.” That makes the company’s SEO efforts theoretically appealing to manufacturers and retailers alike. The company currently provides SEO to 10 large retailers covering 85 percent of U.S. sales and 35 manufacturers. “We are a top submitter to Google Base,” says Toledano.

The company initially appeared to be competitive with ShopLocal, but the two companies have established a complementary relationship, in which ShopLocal provides its promotional feeds. “They have what’s on sale, and we have everything that is for sale,” Toledano says.

A major hurdle affecting all local e-commerce is that no one has successfully kept tabs on local inventory. That’s basically where eStara’s click-to-call comes in handy. Prominently featured on Krillion, eStara is getting more than 10 percent of existing visitors to use the feature to see whether items are in stock locally. Average calls last more than 2 1/2 minutes.

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