Click Here & Buy ZATO Owner, Kirk Williams' newest book on Google Ads - Ponderings of a PPCer: Revised & Expanded.
About Us

we’re a purposefully small,
practically knowledgeable, ponderingly strategic
team of PPC people.

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Meet our Team of PPC Experts

We love to develop long-term relationships with clients that are mutually beneficial and we build these relationships through time, results, and positive intentional communication.
@PPCKirk - Owner & Chief Pondering Officer
Recent Speaking Engagements
Kirk Williams
@PPCKirk - Owner & Chief Pondering Officer

Kirk is the owner of ZATO, his Paid Search & Social PPC micro-agency of experts, and has been working in Digital Marketing since 2009. His personal motto (perhaps unhealthily so), is "let's overthink this some more."  He even wrote a book recently on philosophical PPC musings that you can check out here: Ponderings of a PPC Professional.

He has been named one of the Top 25 Most Influential PPCers in the world by PPC Hero 6 years in a row (2016-2021), has written articles for many industry publications (including Shopify, Moz, PPC Hero, Search Engine Land, and Microsoft), and is a frequent guest on digital marketing podcasts and webinars.

Kirk currently resides in Billings, MT with his wife, six children, books, Trek Bikes, Taylor guitar, and little sleep.

Kirk is an avid "discusser of marketing things" on Twitter, as well as an avid conference speaker, having traveled around the world to talk about Paid Search (especially Shopping Ads).  Kirk has booked speaking engagements in London, Dublin, Sydney, Milan, NYC, Dallas, OKC, Milwaukee, and more and has been recognized through reviews as one of the Top 10 conference presentations on more than one occasion.

You can connect with Kirk on Twitter or Linkedin.

In 2023, Kirk had the privilege of speaking at the TEDx Billings on one of his many passions, Stop the Scale: Redefining Business Success.

PPC Program Director
Recent Speaking Engagements
Eric Marshall
PPC Program Director

Eric is a ZATO Paid Search Specialist. A marketer at heart, he’s passionate about developing big picture marketing ideas but also loves getting his hands dirty while sifting through click and conversion data, testing ad copy and digging into analytics to find hidden insights.

Eric’s career in digital marketing has spanned over a decade and he has been working specifically in PPC since 2009. Eric received a bachelor's in Business Marketing from Montana State University and has since spent time in-house as the digital marketing manager at an award-winning international adventure travel company and most recently was the digital marketing director at a local web design and marketing agency. He has a broad range of industry experience including extensive time spent doing SEO, Social Media Marketing and Email Marketing. He is certified in Google AdWords and Google Analytics.

Eric spends most of his time outside of work with his wife and 3 kids. They have called Billings home since 2006 and enjoy spending time with friends, family and neighbors.

 Senior Paid Search Strategist
Recent Speaking Engagements
Sarah Vlietstra
Senior Paid Search Strategist

Sarah started her career in digital marketing by working as a contractor at Google for 6 years before joining ZATO.

During that time, she worked with thousands of Google Ads accounts, gathering specific insight into industry benchmarks, trends and data. Because of her time representing Google, she excels at implementing Google Ads best practices in ZATO clients to maximize machine learning applied intelligently through a human framework.

Sarah is also passionate about educating others regarding Paid Search products, and actually taught the existing ZATO team about a specific product on her first day ever working at ZATO!

Sarah lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan with her husband, two sons and dog.  She enjoys spending time with her family, beautifying her house, and visiting new places.

 Senior Paid Search Strategist
Recent Speaking Engagements
Diana Talhelm
Senior Paid Search Strategist

Diana moved to the United States in 2004 from Russia, while pursuing a career in sales. In 2013, she became a contractor representing Google to agencies where she worked closely with a variety of companies and agencies, helping them achieve their goals, providing strategic advice, assisting with troubleshooting, and educating them about the Google Ads platform.

Diana has an insatiable curiosity regarding Google Ads algorithms, and does all she can to figure out "why" things are the way they are in her client accounts, not simply "what" is happening.

Diana lives in Chandler, Arizona with her husband, two kids, two dogs, and a cat. She loves nature and enjoys hiking, gardening, biking with her dogs, and horseback riding.

Small Budgets Program director
Recent Speaking Engagements
Chris Reeves
Small Budgets Program director

Chris is tasked with growing and developing the Google Ads for Small Budget program at ZATO. He's passionate about marketing, with 10+ years of sales and management experience and has succeeded in those fields by streamlining operations and making his team and procedures as efficient and productive as possible.

While employed at a local non-profit organization, Chris stumbled across PPC and was instantly enthralled by the possibilities of the digital marketing world. His extensive background and relentless optimism made him a great fit to build ZATO's Small Budget program.

Outside of work, Chris spends his time with his wife, daughter, and their 2 dogs. He has called Billings home since 1988 and he enjoys seeing and playing concerts (that's right... he's in more than one band), spending time with friends, and hiking around the Montana mountains.

Office Manager
Recent Speaking Engagements
Elise Williams
Office Manager

When Elise isn't chasing after six children or running her photography business, she can be found handling the business side of things around the office for ZATO.

Why Clients Choose ZATO

We love to develop long-term relationships with clients that are mutually beneficial and we build these relationships through time, results, and positive intentional communication.

"Our former Google Ads agency was nice, but not good at PPC. ZATO is nice to work with AND good at PPC!"

- Denver Rayburn, CEO of Interweave Brands

We're Specialists. PPC is ALL we do.

We aren’t a full-service digital marketing agency so we won’t be your go-to for SEO or email. When you hire us, you're hiring specialists.

Our singular focus gives us the bandwidth to dive deeper into your accounts. When you hire ZATO, you're hiring paid search people. Period.


We Are An Extension of Your Team.

We invest ourselves into your business and vertical as a natural extension of your team.

With regular calls, fast written responses, and strategic guidance we see ourselves as more than simple button-pushers, but your strategic key to long-term growth in the Paid Search channels. We're here to help.


You Aren't One in a Million (Accounts, That Is).

Our normal client longevity is measured in years, not in months because our clients stay with us as we stick with them. We won’t sacrifice older accounts just because something new and shiny comes along.

We have clients who have been with us for many years and we are careful to never ignore them when we add on a new client.

This also means we ensure we have the bandwidth to take on a new client so we can also invest the time needed in a new account to make it successful, right from the beginning. Then, we settle in for long-term growth.


Our Clients Stick Around

With our Full Service solution, you aren't one of 50 accounts managed by a stressed and overworked employee. In fact, we have more than one account still around that we have managed for a decade. That's right A DECADE of partnership.

We keep the ratio of clients to Account Managers low. This is crucial for us to form the deep strategic partnerships that we value with our clients.

After all, we can't meet your needs, if we can't remember what they are.


We Have Eyes On Your Account... DAILY... and We Never Stop Testing.

In addition to regular campaign optimization, we have a daily account analysis system called “The Daily Glance” to review top line metrics and trends.

This means we notice changes and anomalies quicker and can investigate and make changes with greater accuracy.

Endless Testing: PPC is a relatively stable advertising channel, but that doesn't mean it doesn't require constant tweaking to ensure it runs as efficiently as possible. This is especially true with Google changes over time. At ZATO, we pride ourselves in constant testing within an account.

We don't want to trust the campaign we set up in another account, we want to actually see the data to determine whether that setup is the best for your account. Google best practices don't always work, so we are going to toss our opinions out the window, start a setup as best we can based on a decade of individual experience in each of our ZATO Account Managers, and then test endlessly to maximize your account efficiency and potential.

We have clients who have been with us for more than 10 years that still get ongoing testing from us. With Google changes, there is no end to testing opportunity, so we keep at it!


We Are Month-to-Month, Always.

At ZATO, we work off of month-to-month contracts, so there are no long-term commitments to an agency you just met.

Not only this, but if you decide to leave at any point, you get to keep your Ads accounts and data because we believe you own it.

Read more here: Why Do ZATO Clients Stick With Us?


You Want an Expert

If you partner with ZATO, you won’t be one of 150 accounts managed by an intern, in our Full Service Account program (separate from our SMB Program), you are one of 7-10 accounts managed by your ZATO contact, and our ZATO account managers have over a decade of experience within PPC, each. That's right, no being handed off to an intern at ZATO.

We purposefully give ourselves space to manage your account well.

Oh, and we have a lot of PPC experience between all of us here with over 50 years of experience between our 6 employees, so we know our Google Ads stuff.

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We Are About Your Growth, Not Our Own

ZATO doesn't have our own quarterly growth goals to hit. We just don't measure success by how quickly we make ZATO "big". We are more concerned with providing our clients with an agency they can trust to do great and consistent work on their accounts.

This actually means we're a bit of a boring partner. Maybe boring is the wrong word here, 🤔 think stable and dependable. We're not going to promise to grow your brand by XYZ 1000% scale in 26 days, because we think Google Ads is more about smart, efficient optimization changes over time (for established accounts, new accounts investing immediate spend can see significant growth of course!).

This also means we're not afraid to communicate the limitations of PPC, or even point out concerns with how our partner choices may harm their Google Ads program. We'd rather get to the truth than promise impossible growth.

Find what you're looking for here:

“Kirk and ZATO Marketing are my & Credo's first thought when approached by someone looking for Google Shopping help. Kirk has proven himself over and over to be a humble and helpful resource who is truly the best at what he does, and a world class human to know. I'm not an advertising expert myself, so when I have questions Kirk is my go-to and should be yours as well."
“ZATO gave us the best SEM/SHOP audit we’ve gotten from any outside firm. It was insightful, thorough, actionable, and delivered in a clear professional way. We were able to implement their recommendations within months and saw significant improvements.”
"Kirk is my industry go-to person when it comes to Shopping Ads. Whether I have a client looking for help with their shopping campaigns, a lead looking for someone seasoned, creative, and trustworthy to possibly work with, or if I have a question myself, Kirk is always helpful and willing to have a conversation."
"Kirk is one of the most talented and experienced Google Shopping experts that I know. I’ve had the privilege of viewing several of Kirk’s presentations at conferences as well as numerous other content pieces that he’s produced online - all chock full of actionable e-commerce expertise."
“Kirk is a highly intelligent and charismatic individual that I had the pleasure of working with while I was ZATO's Google rep. His skills in regards to AdWords and especially E-commerce are top notch. He goes above and beyond for all of his clients and truly cares about doing great work. Strongly recommend if you're looking for a PPC master.”

From the ZATO Blog

Small Business? Here are 3 Reasons to Embrace Google Ads

Small Business? Here are 3 Reasons to Embrace Google Ads

Chris Reeves
Team Zato
For small eCommerce businesses, carving out a niche in a competitive market can be daunting. Leveraging digital advertising is essential, and Google Ads stands out as a powerful tool. Here’s why...
3 Keys to Having a Profitable Google Ads Consulting Call

3 Keys to Having a Profitable Google Ads Consulting Call

Kirk Williams
Team Zato
Campaign Strategy
By coming to each call with a clear agenda, trusting their recommendations, and ensuring they’re (actually) good at Google Ads, you’ll turn routine check-ins into powerful sessions.
Open Letter to Google Ads Leadership - Appendix A in Ponderings of a PPC Professional

Open Letter to Google Ads Leadership - Appendix A in Ponderings of a PPC Professional

Kirk Williams
Team Zato
General PPC
In this open letter, Kirk makes a plea to Google leadership to consider the trust harming decision making that is harming advertiser perception with Google's advertising platform.
Tax Suspension in Merchant Center? Fix It With This Easy Setting!

Tax Suspension in Merchant Center? Fix It With This Easy Setting!

Kirk Williams
Team Zato
Google Merchant Center
In this video, I walk you through how to fix tax suspension issue quickly in Google Merchant Center so you can get back up and running on Google Shopping and making that cash!

Request a FREE Ad Discovery Audit for your Business

Not sure if ZATO Marketing is right for you? That's why we offer a free Discovery Audit (to those who make it through our Discovery Process) before you sign anything (though, even then you're only signing a month-to-month something!). We'll see how things are currently managed in your Google Ads account and will let you know if and how we can help your business.
Thank you! In preparation for your account analysis, help us get to know your business by completing our Discovery Questionnaire (click here).
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