E-commerce is vital to the travel industry, with almost three-quarters of travel research taking place online and around a third of hotel revenue coming from online bookings.

As such hoteliers are constantly trying to master the art of selling the right room, to the right customer, at the right time.

A new report from QuBit shows looks at the search and social performance of ten of the UK’s top hotel brands and online travel sites including Hotels.com, Booking.com, Agoda.co.uk, Hoteldirect.co.uk, Venere.com, Premier Inn, Hilton, Holiday Inn, Marriott and Travelodge.

It found that while Booking.com has the strongest social presence, Hotels.com is most visible in search.

Here’s a look at the results…

Social

Social has had a huge impact on travel as reviews and recommendations play an increasingly important role in the purchase journey.

According to data included in Google’s Zero Moment of Truth marketing white paper the average traveller looks at 10 sources of information before making a booking. So it is important for travel sites to have a social presence to try and be part of the thousands of conversations taking place online.

To measure how well each of the brands is performing on social media QuBit assessed their presence across Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest and Facebook.

Social scores are calculated based on each company’s reach on social networks, which is then weighted based on the average time spent on the website and revenue driven through each source.

Booking.com has the strongest social presence, being the most followed travel site on Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest.

Interestingly, despite having very different brand images Hilton and Holiday Inn have a very similar number of fans and followers.

Also, six of the ten sites analysed have begun using Pinterest. Booking.com is one of the top performers on this site with 657 followers and 39 pinboards.

Search

With so much of their revenue coming from e-commerce it’s vital that travel brands are visible in search. For this report, QuBit looked at the result from these high traffic search terms: Hotels, Cheap Hotels, Hotels UK, Book a Room and Hotel Rooms.

This table shows a breakdown of the number of Google searches in which each site will appear on the first page of results, with Hotels.com the clear winner thanks to its visibility in brand search terms.

None of the sites appeared on all search terms both organically and paid for, while Hilton, Hoteldirect.co.uk and Venere.com did not appear on any of the high traffic search terms.