Posted January 2, 2012 9:58 am by with 5 comments

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I know it’s the in thing to put together a wish list of things to do and accomplish in the new year. We are all full of hope and ideas. That’s fine but it’s also a distraction. It’s a distraction that can make us sound full of something else as well.

Just because the calendar has changed the year has anything really changed for you as an Internet marketer? I sincerely doubt it. You may have the desire to try all kinds of new things in 2012 but that is a more of a distraction, especially in the Internet and social media marketing space that can be dangerous. We like to chase the newest shiny object but we leave our current practices (you know the ones that can actually produce results?) under attended and under performing. Then we wonder what happened. It’s the same story every year.

So let’s keep it simple this new year. Let’s not get distracted by the latest shiny object. Let’s pay less attention to those trying to uncover the next greatest thing and pay attention to the proven things. In fact, at the risk of sounding boring may I suggest some things for the “new year” that should always be “top of mind” before you flitter off trying something because it’s cool.

Website usability audit – Most websites are designed to please the designer and the client. It is remarkable at just how little the end user is considered when websites or blogs are put together. If your site was put together and everyone sat around a table and got all silly over some kind of interchanging picture something or other and didn’t wonder if it would tick off your visitor, then you didn’t do your job. Take a look at your site from the visitors’ side of the table. It’s the only one that matters.

SEO audit – Oh no not that! Yes, that. Search generates business. If you haven’t turned over every stone in this now fundamental piece of any solid online marketing campaign then you are simply leaving opportunity on the table. Find a reliable provider to do something that has your blessing to rip your current efforts to shreds (if they deserve it). Spend the first part of this “new year” getting your SEO ship in order. Your year may be better for it.

Stop wasting PPC spend – Many are in the habit of “set it and forget it” with regard to their paid search campaigns. Some have simply handed it over to a provider who is checking in on a weekly or monthly basis and are not really being watched. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to be vigilant. You just have to be aware.

Stop playing with social media – Do you have a Facebook page? Do you have a Twitter presence? Are you doing what all the cool kids are doing? Gee, good for you. Now, the next question. Are you making money from those efforts? Can you prove it? If not you are just playing at social media and you are wasting a lot of resources on your “free” efforts.

Measure and monitor – We like to talk about measuring and monitoring for trends etc. That’s fine. What you need to be monitoring is performance. Can you tie your efforts to revenue that has been produced? You can measure anything and everything but if it doesn’t show some form of positive ROI you need to reconsider your efforts.

Listen more– Are you really paying attention to your brand and your competition online or are you just saying that you are while just paying the activity lip service? That’s dangerous. Online listening is no longer an add-on. It’s a basic. You should be doing it with intent. Stop talking and start listening.

These are just a few of the basics that everyone should be considering before they rush out and try every new trick that is unproven. Doing the basics well day in and day out actually would then make the changing of the new year a different story. We get fat and out of shape because we don’t do the basics of eating well and exercising each day during the year. Then because the calendar changes we act as if we are suddenly aware of our health. That’s not being proactive that is just accepting a lie which leads to getting away from the basics.

We do the same with our business and our marketing. At what point in time did someone really think that the changing of the calendar means anything different than any other day of the year?

What are some of the basics you are going to concentrate on today so that when we “celebrate” the start of 2013 you won’t be searching for potions and magic tricks? Instead, you’ll just be trying to do the basics better than the competition while they chase the latest cool thing like a dog chasing its tail. In the end, you may seem boring but you may also be more successful.

Here’s to a basic 2012. Any thoughts?

  • Great post, Frank! It’s very easy to be distracted by the “shiny new thing”. Quite often staying close to the basics is considered “old school”, but chasing every new thing that comes along is like scattering seeds in the wind. Blue chips don’t get distracted by all the latest fads and trends. 🙂

  • Yes, listen and monitor — then execute while avoiding the noise, with your business communication/revenue goals shining brightly throughout 2012.

  • Dan

    another similar post here:

    Good information by a SEM veteran.

  • Great Information… Marketers still need to realize that SEO is still important. Even though Social Media has really taken off, it’s still imperative to lay a solid foundation for any online business using SEO Techniques. Keep with the basics and don’t try to do too many things at once or you may never get anywhere online…Have an awesome 2012…:)

  • Great post and good Information.. Marketers should reach this post to improve there online marketing efforts!!