Returning SSF4 AE after a 3 month break

Since v2013 is coming out, I decided to play some SF4 to prepare myself but I remembered something, I suck ass in this game. I feel like I can never find anyone in ranked that is on my skill level (400 range PP) and when I do, its always some derpy akuma or ryu doing stuff like chucking fireballs or mashing DPs (I still lose to this crap). The worst thing is when I bump into someone with 2000+pp (im 400pp why im I fighting against these guys?). So basically, How can I improve in this game in the most effective way possible?

Play offline…with other/better players within your vicinity.

Study and improve your character’s basic combos and execution. (Punishes, BnB, ways of using ultra, simple poke into special option selects.) Ignore crazy advanced execution stuff for now.
Improve use of game mechanics like focus attacks, crossups/crossup blocking.
Watch pro vids.
Study/get creative with footsies. Read the footsies 101 articles on sonic hurricane, think about spacing, think about counterpokes, most of all think about mindgames.
Read up, even just a little bit, on matchups you have trouble with.

I’m not high level but no matter what level you are, improve on these things in any way and you will level up.
PS. Don’t just play 100 matches online without being aware of concepts you’re trying to improve or strategies. Time is sometimes better spent reading, watching or in training.
PPS. don’t jump in often or for no reason!