SMEs seeking alternative finance methods to traditional bank loans

SMEs are turning to alternative forms of finance, according to the latest research which has showed that banks are slipping down in Google rankings.


Digital marketing agency SiteVisability compiled a study which shows that “invoice finance” has been the most popular search term when it comes to business finance in 2013.


It coincides with a drop in those searching for “invoice discounting” on Google, suggesting businesses are expanding their options when it comes to attaining finance.


The option that allows companies to access money in lieu of unpaid invoices is seen as an alternative when a company is unable to secure traditional bank finance.


Simon Burslem, marketing manager at SiteVisibility, said the research highlights the shift away from traditional forms of lending which he said  has shrank by a quarter since 2011.


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“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,” he explained.


The results of the study come after the Asset-Based Finance Association released data showing that invoice finance is up 16% year-on-year and reached a total of £62.5 billion during the final quarter of 2012.


According to the research, many of the major high street banks are slipping behind competitors in Google search rankings.


Mr. Burslem added: “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.”


By Phil Smith


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