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Clutch did for the Calgary-based digital marketing agency exactly what ICONA does for its own SEO clients: place them at the top of the list.

“Clutch’s methodology considers the agencies' ability to deliver based on three criteria: client references, clients and experiences, and market presence. ICONA has proven themselves as a strong agency in these three areas,” says Alex Miller, Clutch business analyst.

Full article here:
US-Based Marketing Review Firm, Clutch Recognized ICONA as One of Canada's Top SEO Companies of 2016

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If you're shopping around for web designers, you've probably found a range of prices - and an incredible amount of variation in the web designer landscape. There are freelancers able to work for $2,000, and agencies that quote you $30,000 for the same project. Is a web agency's solution 15 x times better? That will depend on the agency, but you'll be exposed to far more risk with the $2,000 contractor. You get what you pay for. So, how do you find the best solution for the right price?

We've used our years of experience designing, building, and promoting websites to develop this quick guide to website pricing. We hope it helps you gauge the responses from the various agencies and freelancers offering website design in Calgary.

The Basics

  • Domain Name: ($10-35/year and up); premium names can run into the thousands
  • Web Hosting: ($150-250/year and up); depends on site traffic and hosting services
  • Website Planning and Management: (20-100 hours and up) At least 15% of your budget
  • Supporting Services (copywriters, etc.): (5-80 hours and up) Variable based on your preparation
  • Web Design and Development: (30-250 hours and up) Around 50% of your budget ~ hourly rates can vary considerably based on freelancer experience, agency size, etc.

Your budget might break down along these lines

  • Planning: 15%
  • Interface design: 25%
  • Programming: 25% - 40%
  • Project management: 20%


Updating your website is a significant factor in determining how successful you will be. Blog posts, new products, and maintenance will keep your site relevant.

  • Annual Maintenance: ($250-$5000/year); depends on who updates it, the frequency and significance of changes made
  • Online Marketing : ($100-$5000/month and up); depends on extent of services

Scope creep... it's in the details

The following will influence the final cost of your website. Consider these factors when setting your budget:

  • Do you have a basic plan - or a rough vision?
  • Do you need any branding or a logo?
  • How well do you understand your business message (value proposition)?
  • Do you understand the website objectives? (e.g. increase lead generation, online sales, etc.)
  • How will you measure the success of your objectives? (ROI)
  • Do you know your audience and what they want?
  • Are there any dependencies or deadlines that will affect launch? (websites can take 2 to 5 months to complete)
  • How much content do you have ready? How much more will need to be created?
  • Do you need a photo shoot or stock images?
  • Do you need your website to integrate with existing technology? (Salesforce, CRM)
  • Do you need a shopping cart / online payment processing integrated on your site?
  • Do you have product descriptions and shipping weights ready?
  • Do you need to rank high in search engines - SEO (search engine optimisation) services or PPC (pay-per-click) advertising?

How much does a website cost?

All told, a reasonably funded small business website can be expected to fall somewhere in the $7,500 to $25,000 range (or more), take 2 - 4 months to complete, and will definitely require maintenance of some form to be successful.

We invite you to connect with us - get in touch!

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We set this page aside to give you a better idea of what you can expect when working with ICONA.

Website design, mobile development, SEO services, and marketing are all interconnected pieces of the same puzzle. Call it lead generation, business development, or prospecting—we help our clients fit these pieces together in the way that works best for their business.

As a boutique agency, we don't approach our work as a commodity-based enterprise. Every website is unique, and each project requires a custom approach. This methodology leads to a measurable return on your marketing investment, and it is why we have been in this business for over 15 years.

Getting to Know You (Discovery)

Getting a thorough understanding of each other is the all-important first step in determining what our future together looks like. We'll want to know about your past and current efforts online, your business aspirations, and what drives your business goals on and offline.

We also need a sense of your strengths, your values, and your identity if we're going to develop a campaign that works for you. We'll get to know you remarkably well (yet quickly) before we start drawing up initial strategies.

Blueprints for Success (Planning & Schedules)

Next, we'll develop a broad-strokes plan and come to you with a scope, including budget and timeline. Keep in mind, we're a boutique firm, and we only take on a select handful of projects at a time. By devoting our full attention to a few clients - we achieve premium results. This approach is reflected in every aspect of our business, and that includes our schedule and rates. Your website won't be built in a day, and there are definitely "cheaper" options out there - but we don't think there are better ones.

Through a detailed discussion with you and your team, we'll plan out the right development and design solution, identify all the elements for optimization, including an SEO and SEM marketing strategy that will take your business where you need it to go. You'll get a realistic timeline, and we'll work with you and your team to make that timeline a reality.

We define value as something that generates returns long after your initial investment. That's the service we provide, from your first design to your ongoing marketing: quality work that builds your brand, and that creates tangible value for your business and your clients.

Dedication & Hard Work (Project Execution)

When we have the major details squared away, it's time to jump into production. We build with intent from the ground up, and we build to last. We don't compete on price, and we won't slap a logo on a template site and call it a day. We fully appreciate that not everyone's vision or goals align with our own, but we love it when we find a match.

Every member of ICONA has been working in their area of expertise for a long time, and we're good at letting you know what to expect and when to expect it. We execute with enthusiasm and certainty, leaving the guesswork and the sales hype for others. And if you're ever concerned with the project progress you're seeing, you'll have the same point of contact to check in with at all stages of your digital marketing implementation.

True to Our Word (Continued Partnering)

Some clients have finite projects they need to be met, and many are drawn to our ongoing conversion optimization, SEO and content marketing services.

Whether your project comes to a complete close or reaches a stage of steady growth, we like to get feedback on your experience. We want to know how we did in terms of meeting your goals and expectations, and anything we can do to improve the quality of the service and the level of attention we provide. So we'll close out with a few more questions, and we'll get to know each other all over again.

We hope you find our style of business in line with your values. We invite you to connect with us - get in touch!

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It's a very common question for business owners. When you launch a Google Adwords campaign, you see the effect almost instantly. But search engine optimization (SEO) is a long-term process and requires endurance.

What SEO Endurance Really Means

Think of SEO as running an ultramarathon on a treadmill. There is no finish line and no starting line. Many of your competitors got into the race awhile ago, leaving you with plenty of ground to make up. There's no shortcut and no cheating your way to the front without getting caught (or worse, banned from the race altogether).

So when you ask, "When will I see results?" what you're really asking is;

"How far ahead are the competition, and how hard am I willing to work to catch up?"

The catch-up phase is tough, and we know it. You have to invest resources—time and dollars—often with what feels like minimal results for months. If you're in a competitive industry, with rivals that have been active online for years, you'll have to push even harder and longer to make any headway.

"Give your SEOs and your promotion campaigns a minimum of 4-10 months to show positive effects and make sure you watch total search referrals (not just rankings for your pet keyword search phrases), once you start to see increased traffic for long tail keywords and related phrases, you know you're on the right path.", - says Rand Fishkin, co-founder of SEO giant

SEO Expectations

Staying committed to the course can be difficult when the scenery doesn't seem to be changing. Some clients hope for immediate results and get frustrated by what looks like an expensive lack of progress. Quitting the program only allows your competitors to pull farther ahead. If you didn't envision ongoing months of SEO services, this might not be the time to start.

No legitimate SEO provider can control (or promise) the time it takes to see the results, and if you're not ready for a marathon, it might be better to focus on other areas of your business. Successful SEO is about long term quality - and it's an investment.

"Whatever area you're in - if you're doing it better than the other incumbents, then over time you can expect to perform better and better," says Google's Matt Cutts, the undisputed SEO guru.


SEO builds up over time and requires dedication even if the initial impact is minimal. Doing the right things for long enough will lead to SEO success, period. If you keep your head down and your legs moving, you'll eventually be the pace-setter.

ICONA was recognized as One of Canada's Top SEO Companies of 2016. While we can't guarantee timelines, we can guarantee results for anybody willing to endure the uphill battle of the early days.

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