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As SMEs fight for finance, banks scrap for Google rankings

Research highlights the shift away from traditional bank lending to small business, which has shrunk by a quarter since 2011. November 8th, 2013 : The extreme difficulty some company owners have faced obtaining conventional bank borrowing over the past three years has proved the making of invoice discounting, an alternative funding mechanism in which money is provided in lieu of unpaid invoices. However, with forecasts improving...

Research highlights the shift away from traditional bank lending to small business, which has shrunk by a quarter since 2011.

November 8th, 2013 : The extreme difficulty some company owners have faced obtaining conventional bank borrowing over the past three years has proved the making of invoice discounting, an alternative funding mechanism in which money is provided in lieu of unpaid invoices. However, with forecasts improving and non-bank lending to small businesses at a five-year high, research has revealed the most popular Google keyword search terms in the corporate finance industry, providing an insight into the funding needs of UK SMEs.

The research, conducted by digital marketing agency SiteVisibility, reveals since 2007, the Google search term for ‘invoice discounting’ has hit a 30 per cent decrease in the four year period between December 2008 and December 2012. However, the term ‘invoice finance’ has consistently been the most popular search term and in 2013, has been 218% more popular than searches such as ‘asset based lending’ and ‘factoring’; the latter having peaked in April 2006 when it was 143% more popular.

These findings also reflect recent figures from the Asset-Based Finance Association (ABFA) which revealed invoice finance was up by 16 per cent year on year at £62.5bn during the final quarter of 2012.

The research has also revealed how the likes of Barclays and Lloyds are finding themselves well behind their competitors when it comes to featuring in the prime positions on Google search. Whilst these larger banks are performing well when specific searches are made for the likes of ‘invoice finance’ and ‘asset based lending’, RBS and Aldermore are the only companies to have a 100% share of the industry’s keywords within the top 10 on Google whilst Close Invoice Finance follows closely behind on 80%.

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. With traditional bank lending in its fifth year of decline, these results show that more small businesses are turning to alternative means 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.

“‘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.”

chart1

 

From the graph above we can clearly see how from 2007 on-wards the key term within this particular area of finance has been that of  ’invoice finance’. ‘Invoice discounting’ has hit a 30% decrease in search in the 4 year period between December 2008 and December 2012.

chart2

 

From the second graph we can see how popular invoice financing has become leading searches over the likes of other related terms and services such as ‘invoice factoring’, ‘asset based lending’ and ‘invoice discounting’.

chart3

 

Above we can see the top financial organisations and how they compare against each other regarding keyword ranking positions for the industry top terms. The big banks such as Barclay’s and Lloyds TSB find themselves well behind their competitors when it comes to featuring in the prime positions on Google search. From the keywords chosen Aldermore, RBS and Close overall hold the key positions in search – RBS and Aldermore are the only companies to have a 100% share of the chosen keywords ranking within the top 10 on Google. SiteVisibility is a leading Integrated Search Marketing agency which also offers Display Advertising and Affiliate Marketing from its offices in Brighton, London and Gatwick. It promotes clients from a range of sectors including travel; publishing; hotels & hospitality; financial services; gambling; business; sport & leisure and large multi-national brands and companies. SiteVisibility is behind the most popular internet marketing podcast in the English speaking world downloaded by a million people globally as well as organising Brighton SEO which is the UK’s most popular free conference for Search Marketers.

Source: SiteVisibility

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