Quality is extremely important in the business world – if you make crappy products or provide horrible services, you won’t survive. Even as speakers, a good talker can get anyone to hire him/her for a presentation, but only if that person is a quality speaker will he or she be hired for a second engagement. Quality also affects our online presence – probably in more ways than you realize. If you’re just online for casual conversation, then this may or may not concern you. If you’re online to promote your business, cause or idea, then it’s something you want to pay attention to.

Quality affects everything from SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to who follows you on Twitter to whether people continue to use your services. Let’s start from the ground up.

You need a quality web destination:

Whether you’re working for yourself, someone else or looking for work, you need a “home” page for people to find you. For some, it’s their web site. Mine is JamesFeudo.com. For others, it’s their blog which they might host on their own or through a free service like WordPress or Blogger. And then there are those who use a Facebook page or Twitter or LinkedIn profile. Depending on your situation and budget, any of these should work. So no matter what you use for your home page, it has to have a clean and professional look. You don’t want it full of spelling/grammatical errors or broken image links. You want it to represent you well. If you’re not sure if it represents you well, find someone who has expertise in this area and ask them for advice.

You need quality links to your profile:

Ever since Google rose to be the number one search engine, the number (and of course, quality) of links to your site impact your rankings for search terms. While no one outside of Google knows the exact details of their search algorithm, one thing that most people have figured out is that having a lot of other sites link to you helps you rank higher. Of course, the higher the quality of these sites (meaning, the more sites that link to them), the more of a positive impact the link has to your rankings.

You need quality followers:

Social media rankings are a dark art similar to SEO. To use Twitter as an example, the more people that follow you, generally the more influence you have. Of course, if you use tools such as Klout to see your rankings, they take other things into consideration such as the quality of your followers (do they themselves have a lot of followers, etc…). Of course, Klout considers other things like how often people mention you or re-tweet your tweets and that is also a reflection of the quality of your followers and your interactions with them.

On the website side of things, you want a quality audience there as well. If you make money on your web site, you need your viewers to take an action such as purchase something or click on an ad – or at the very least, share your links so others that might take these actions know about you. Again, quality is the operative word.

You need quality content:

Now this is the hardest part. Anyone can run an ad campaign for a couple dollars on Google or Facebook and get traffic to their site. But if that site has nothing of value to the viewer, they will move on without taking action and without recommending you to others within your target audience.

In this case, quality means a lot of different things. At the very basic level, you need well-written copy, a design that doesn’t irritate your viewers and content that has some value to it. It can be funny, informative, thought-provoking or educational but it has to be worth their time to read or watch.

In this world of automation and instant gratification, quality tends to take a back seat to production. Over the last few years, I’ve seen the amount of spelling and grammatical errors in best selling books increase and the quality of advice decrease (why share it all when you can publish a second edition?). While improving the quality of what you do won’t necessarily give you that quick hit that we’re all conditioned to seek, it will help you steadily increase the business and attention you receive due to your online presence. So if it seems like you’re following all the right steps but you’re not getting results, try increasing the quality of what you do.

Quality: The Most Essential Ingredient of Your Online Presence
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