For our past few Newsletters, we've been guiding you through the Internet Minefield and trying to keep you from mis-stepping.
The underlying theme is that there is simply too much specialized knowledge, it's too easy to get it wrong, and the stakes are too high for a small to medium size company to even consider developing and executing their own Web strategy. And few Web development "companies" and even fewer Ad agencies are much better than doing it yourself.
I promised a personal story to illustrate the point.
I've owned a Web company for ten years, and I write and talk about this stuff all the time. Heck, I even used to build Web sites for my clients when I first started the company. So when I recently sold my house, I figured if anyone was qualified to build a Web site to promote the house, it would be me, right?
Armed with my "experience" I started to build my own Web site. I couldn't believe how hard it had gotten to get it right. Knowing what Cascading style sheets are and actually building and using them are two completely different things. And while I was able to get some of it right, it was embarrassing to think how much I got wrong.
I eventually finished, but it was amazing how much time it took me to build a less than average-looking site.
So then I decided to try my hand at applying my search engine knowledge to get the site to place high in Google, Yahoo and MSN. I used all the tricks I knew and was pretty proud when I actually showed up in the top position for all the keyword phrases! And that's where I stayed for three days until my site got de-listed entirely for an improper use of metatags.
So much for doing it myself!
The moral of the story is this: I should have trusted the project to my team of specialists. And if I, as the owner of a Web design company came to that conclusion, how can anyone else come to a different one?