Originally at http://tracking.feedpress.it/link/9375/2895981

Posted by Dr-Pete

Summary: We analyzed 5 mobile phone buyer searches on Google across 5,000 cities (25,000 total markets) to find the winners and losers in both organic and local pack results. Best Buy dominated organic results and performed well in local searches. Sprint won the local pack results, but disappeared from organic entirely. Carriers Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T all performed well, but none covered more than 30% of local search markets.

The wireless industry in the United States is both massive and competitive. According to an IDC report, over 184 million mobile phones were shipped to US customers in 2014, with an estimated 191 million in 2015. The vast majority of consumers, even in 2015, report browsing products online but purchasing in-store (73%, according to PWC’s annual report). This trend may be even more dramatic in the wireless industry, where experts suggest that upwards of 9 out of 10 of all mobile phone purchases in the US still happen in a brick-and-mortar store.

In a competitive environment where most people research phones online but buy them in-store, ranking well in Google search results, especially local results, is critical. Local results can lead consumers not only to one brand over another, but to specific store locations in their area, surfacing store addresses, phone numbers, and operating hours.

For example, here’s a local 3-pack from a search for “mobile phone store” in the Seattle area:

Local packs in 2016 not only contain rich information, including directions, reviews, location, phone, and store hours, but they appear at or near the top of organic results and occupy a large amount of screen real-estate.

This report takes a Google’s-eye view of the mobile phone market in the United States. We ran thousands of searches to determine who …

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