Our Story

(A story of defiance, as it turns out…)

our story

It all started in 2006 with this photo…

“Kramer” would lie at my feet as I optimized the first campaigns, of my very first clients, after I left the big agency I worked for. So I thought I’d include his picture in the header of my first website. It worked.

People seemed to like the “approachable” feel of our Google Ads agency (although it was “AdWords” back then) and, although we’ve grown a whole lot since those days, we haven’t changed approachable.

James the AdWords Expert does not require contracts Then, in 2009, I had no idea I was a pioneer when I made the decision to do away with contracts… contracts that locked people in for 6 or 12 months.

I was criticized by my peers for that. They said, “Clients will leave, you’ll have no client retention.”

That would end up being the first big decision I made for my company that went against the normal rules of that time, and also turned out to be right.

Certainly I wanted my clients to stay a long time, but not because they were locked into a contract they couldn’t get out of. I wanted them to stay because they wanted to, because they saw the value in having us manage their campaigns, because they saw how very complicated AdWords was becoming.

I’m happy I ended up calling that one right. I went with my gut and one of the things I’m most proud of today is that we have a lot of clients that have been here 3, 4, 5+ years (just read the Testimonials page). The no-contract approach put the onus on us to make our clients’ campaigns work, and that’s exactly what I wanted. Clients stay because it’s working, they leave if it’s not. No BS.

Derek from James the AdWords Expert Derek Gatehouse partnered up in 2013. We had co-consulted on numerous client situations over the years, and I felt his impressive 35-year sales and marketing track record was just what we needed (Google him!). I was thrilled when he agreed. Derek is now CEO and leads all operations.

tom gatehouse head shot Derek’s son Tom Gatehouse officially joined us in 2016, after having optimized AdWords campaigns for us for more than 3 years, and he now heads up the Sales Department. Derek says Tom is the smarter one… we enjoy debating it.

As we continued to grow, there was certainly pressure to jump on the Facebook Ads bandwagon, and Instagram and YouTube and SEO and Bing and LinkedIn Marketing and… well, you get the idea.

Likewise, we were told to “niche down” – in other words, to specialize only in certain industries.

We had to make decisions about what we are exactly. Are we experts in all these mediums, or do we specialize in only one? Do we work in all industries and company sizes, or do we niche it down and specialize?

We made that decision in 2016. After debating for 5 months, and examining 10 years of client service – we came to realize what we were best at, what we loved most – and what we have been all along:

adwords agency

We are ROI-Focused Conversion Experts for Google Ads,
Bing, Facebook Ads and SEO.

We’re focused on getting clients conversions, not clicks. A “conversion” for you might mean a lead, a form inquiry, a phone call or an actual sale – but traffic is meaningless if you can’t then convert it profitably. We’re absolutely brilliant at PPC and SEO, I mean really top notch. And that’s mostly because of the world class group we’ve assembled.

Meet the Team

james abbott

James Abbott




Gone but not forgotten

derek gatehouse head shot

Derek Gatehouse

Partner & CEO

tom gatehouse head shot

Tom Gatehouse

Partner & VP Sales

Our Brilliant Team of Campaign Optimizers,
Website Creatives and Client Managers