Mark Sprague

Mark Sprague


About Mark Sprague

Mark Sprague's latest articles


MicroData For Marketing Executives

This continues the analysis presented in the MicroData Not Ready For Primetime article previously published. Here, I break down the MicroData hierarchy into three levels so marketing professionals can review each category to see what value it can bring to future marketing, content and SEO initiatives. When you look at the type schema you see close […]


MicroData & Retail Products: Not Ready For Primetime?

If you are in the search engine business, the functionality in the Microdata specification sponsored by Google, Yahoo and Bing is a very attractive way to theoretically improve search results. Enterprise search engines are well-versed with named entity extraction tools and techniques, which is how this information has been generated in the past decade. The […]


Social Media Is Still A Mystery To Many Businesses

It is no surprise that the high-level social media search traffic is focused on advertising and marketing needs. With a combination of a little over three million searches a month, the Marketing/Advertising search traffic is overshadowed by the ten million informational searches that sometimes ask questions, but are mostly vague in nature. This analysis of […]


Keyword Insights: How Office Furniture Vendors Can Target Start-Ups

It’s a great time to start a company. Incubator labs are springing up all over the place, sponsored by venture capitalists and universities. Universities are teaching entrepreneurial skill, and have programs to sponsor student startups. Massive layoffs over the past two years have forced new college graduates, and experienced former employees to strike out on […]


Spring Search Fever: How Users Look Up Garden Center Products & Services

It’s spring, and garden centers everywhere are getting ready to service the needs of home gardeners and small landscaping services. Garden center search traffic is similar to Christmas retail search traffic in that the majority of the searches occur during three or four months of the year, peaking in June and falling off dramatically for […]


How Potential Clients Search For An Interactive Agency

The search behavior associated with businesses trying to find an interactive agency is very different from other models that I’ve looked at in the past. Generally, informational searches dominate search behavior. In this case, informational searches are very small compared to the number of types that businesses specify when looking for an interactive agency. The type […]


How To Model Search Term Data To Classify User Intent & Match Query Expectations

Query data is the first tool in every search marketers arsenal – it serves as a launch pad for developing information architecture, understanding market opportunity to creating landing pages with carefully worded ad copy to maximize conversions. To fully understand query data in any market segment, it is extremely valuable to understand and creating a […]


How Searchers Find The Perfect Family Restaurant

Last month I took a look at consumer search behavior for restaurants. This was a high-level analysis, and I mentioned in closing that I would contrast those findings to a model that has consumers searching for a particular type of restaurant—in this case family restaurants. Since this is essentially part two of the analysis, you […]


Microsoft Tags: A Compelling Alternative To QR Code Hyperlinks

Search marketers are interested in print-based hyperlinks: traffic to my QR Codes: Are You Ready For Paper-Based Hyperlinks? post remains strong. So here’s an in-depth look at Microsoft’s entry into the 2D code wars, called Microsoft Tags. Microsoft Tags is based on a homegrown technology known as high-capacity color barcode (HCCB). The Microsoft Tag is […]


How Consumers Search For A Perfect Meal

How do consumers find the perfect restaurant? Word of mouth plays a role, but there are other elements at play. How important is your brand? Is value more important than quality? What role does content play in this quest? Here I take a look at the term “restaurant” to show what consumers value when searching […]


Close-Up With Google’s New QR Code Generator

At first blush, generating a QR code while shortening a URL seems like a great idea. If you need to generate unique QR Codes for your printed or mobile advertising strategy this is one way to get the job done. The process is straightforward. You simply type or paste a URL into the text box, […]


You Say Law Firm, I Say Lawyer

You have a dilemma: you are considering a couple of keyword phrases that are similar. How do you choose, and does it matter? It often does. In this analysis, I show that consumer search behavior can be different depending upon how they start their search. Here I contrast the phrase law firms with lawyer to […]


QR Codes: Are You Ready For Paper-Based Hyperlinks?

You’ve probably seen them in newspapers, magazines or other paper-based publications: two-dimensional bar codes, called quick response codes (QR codes). What are they? They have been described as paper-based hyperlinks, and this is a good description. You simply take a picture of a QR code with your smart phone, and you get redirected to a […]


Even Lasik Surgeons Have To Pay Attention To Search Behavior

Like many small business owners, you’ve just hung out your shingle for your new business: a Lasik Surgery practice. You know that there are a lot of folks who are blind as a bat, and hate their coke-bottle glasses. You’ve paid good money for your website, but the customers are slow in coming. Why? And […]

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