New research has revealed that a rise in small and medium-sized businesses using alternative forms of finance has resulted in banks slipping down in Google rankings.
In a study compiled by digital marketing agency SiteVisibility, statistics show that the term ‘invoice finance’ has been the most popular search term when it comes to business finance in 2013.
Since 2007, searches for ‘invoice discounting’ on Google have fallen by 30 per cent as more business owners choose to search for ‘invoice finance’.
The finance option, which allows companies to access money in lieu of unpaid invoices, is often used by businesses which have been unable to secure traditional bank finance.
Simon Burslem, marketing manager at SiteVisibility, comments, ‘This research confirms the shift away from traditional bank lending to small business which has shrunk by a quarter since 2011.
‘More small businesses are turning to alternative forms of funding in order to survive – it is providing life support to the SME market and is vital to give it extra impetus to boost the economic recovery.
The findings come at the same time that the Asset-Based Finance Association (ABFA), the industry body for the finance mechanism, released data showing that invoice finance is up by 16 per cent year-on-year and reached £62.5 billion during the final quarter of 2012.
SiteVisibility says that major high street banks such as Barclays and Lloyds are slipping behind competitors in Google search ranking. RBS and Aldermore are the only companies to have a 100 per cent share of the industry’s keywords within the top ten on Google.
Burslem adds, ‘Another interesting factor of the results was how each brand expects different traffic volumes on Bing and Google with ‘invoice finance’ possessing the highest search volume on Bing (473) and ‘invoice factoring’ being the number one search term regarding volume on Google (4,614).
‘What’s more is how much larger the total search volume for the terms is on Google compared to Bing (7,171) and (1,221) respectively – this will certainly cause the lenders to direct their attentions more to Google, increasing the competition.’