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This will be the only 2013 prediction or whatever you want to call it kind of post. I have never been comfortable with trying to predict the future especially in an industry where the landscape can change very quickly and without much warning. In fact, I just looked at my prediction post on Biznology from last year where I was half right. I said that IF Facebook hit one billion users it would be after the August date predicted at the time. That happened in early October of this year. Yeah for me! Then I went on in all my wisdom to say why I thought they wouldn’t even get there at all. Covering all of my bases I ended up looking a bit foolish. This year I will completely prevent that by doing something that always works. Getting down to the basics.

For the upcoming year I will be paying attention to the basics (and arrogantly I recommend that we all do this). We are in an industry and a culture that is much to quick to flit from one shiny object to the next without actually doing much. In fact, we treat Internet marketing like a little kid treats Christmas morning. We tear through the “latest and greatest,” we “oooo and ahhhh” over something for about a day then we set it aside as if it was old and spent–and start our quest for the next fix. Not exactly a plan for success.

In 2013, let’s pledge to do the following. Please check in in 12 months to see what I am writing about at the end of 2013 if the Lord allows me the time. Here we go. We should concentrate on the basics in:

1. Search marketing – Make sure there is updated content on your site on a regular basis. New pages, a blog or whatever. Make sure it is accessible to the Google bot. Make sure all title tags and H1′s are clean and keyword appropriate. Make sure there are no typos and for the love of Pete, make it easy for your visitors to take the action that you would like them to take. Form follows function ALWAYS!

2. Local Internet marketing – I will make sure NAP data(name, address and phone) are consistent across the Internet. I will use social media only in a way that shows revenue impact. I will use PPC strategically and not as the cornerstone of my Internet marketing efforts. I will not get “too cute” with citations and links. Keep it simple and do it consistently.

3. Social media – Make sure you do everything you can to fully understand Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, then use it appropriately to move your business forward. Know that social is necessary but it is JUST A CHANNEL!

4. Google+ – Admit this year that there is great value in Google+. It is not a social network. It is not a Facebook competitor. It is a strong search signal. It is about productivity and moving things forward. It is less superfluous than other networks like it. Learn it, use it but don’t worry about quantity in the community. It’s a quality play all the way.

5. Make it personal – Don’t settle for connections being only virtual. Take them to the next level with a phone call. Or even better, use the technology at hand (like a Google Hangout or video Skype) to better connect with someone and make your relationship more real.

That’s my basic thoughts for success for 2013. I won’t say anything more so we can just keep it simple. Have a basic new year!

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