GR0 cofounder Jon Zacharias is a highly experienced entrepreneur, D2C advisor, SEO expert, and online marketer with more than a decade of experience in the digital marketing industry with a focus on organic growth through search engine optimization.
Jon grew up in Los Angeles before moving to Chicago, IL, for high school and then relocating to Madison, WI, where he attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in History in 2008, Jon pursued a law degree at the California Western School of Law in San Diego, CA. Currently, he lives in Los Angeles and works with D2C brands all across America.
While in law school, Jon took a position with a local wage and hour class action law firm, where he utilized not just his growing knowledge of judicial practice, but also his business and marketing prowess. He quickly noticed how important one technique — search engine optimization — was for driving client acquisition, and he immediately saw the opportunities it presented within the e-commerce space.
Jon had become more interested in acquiring cases through the modern practice than actually litigating them, and decided he would pursue a career learning the ins and outs of Google instead.
Jon still graduated from the California Western School of Law with a Juris Doctorate, but proceeded to become an SEO consultant for several clients across the country. He spent years continuing to learn the tools and techniques that helped financial and law institutions grow their presence on the web through organic search, allowing them to acquire users without lofty advertising budgets.
Among his achievements, Jon helped Baizer, Kolar, & Lewis in Chicago rank #1 for terms like “medical malpractice lawyer” while also bolstering PayAnywhere in Troy, Michigan to compete against big brands like PayPal and Intuit. He built a lengthy track record for building D2C brands within the United States, working to help them grow audiences and enrich their relationships to strengthen image and performance.
Jon met his GR0 cofounder, Kevin Miller in 2016, and the two quickly grew to be the best of friends. Kevin formerly worked at Google, and was working at Open Listings (eventually acquired by OpenDoor) as a Director of Growth when they met. While Kevin was well-acquainted with digital marketing, he found himself learning a lot about SEO from Jonathan, and vice-versa.
The duo quickly saw an opportunity to work together and create a new kind of digital marketing agency. They knew how effective SEO had been for the medical, financial, and judicial fields, and no one was utilizing it for e-commerce like Jon was.
Jon and Kevin both share a passion for helping underdogs and smaller operations, and they realized utilizing SEO would give these small businesses a fighting chance against the massive corporations that dominated their markets. Helping brands rank higher in search results would grow their traffic while avoiding the massive expenses of paid search campaigns.
There was ample opportunity to build a network of media and business connections to fuel an SEO operation, and no one was as uniquely qualified as Jon and Kevin. With a goal in mind, the duo got to work building the company that would eventually become GR0.
Jon began tapering off some of his consulting work in favor of becoming a SEO Executive with Seek Business Capital in 2017, where he made valuable connections in the Los Angeles area. In August of 2019, he left the position and committed himself full-time to building this new endeavor.
With the onset of 2020’s coronavirus pandemic, Jon and Kevin focused on building their business and network remotely by finding the most talented account managers, sales team, and copy editors across the country, and officially established GR0 in September of that year.
As traditional businesses scrambled to build online presences and drive revenue while people were staying home and buying less, the company was able to lend assistance and provide some much-needed stability.
Within GR0, Jon has created a very powerful new type of whitelisting campaign that focuses on matching the hottest direct-to-consumer e-commerce brands with some of the biggest celebrities and outlets in the world to create real partnerships, build traffic, and provide unprecedented growth for a price that small businesses can actually afford.
GR0 now has more than 75 full-time employees and works with an international network of brands, celebrities, and media to offer a comprehensive SEO suite including SEO-focused copywriting, web design, and ever-important backlinks. They’ve grown the traffic of many notable brands including Nugenix, which Jon himself designed the campaign strategy for, Funboy, Venus Et Fleur, Theragun, and many, many more.
Gr0 has already accumulated multiple awards, including a Silver Stevie Award for Fastest Growing Company of the Year, and the award for Comparably’s Best Place to Work in Los Angeles in 2021.
This success is only the beginning, though, and Jon intends to continue building GR0 into the best that it can be. Mental health and company culture are incredibly important to Jon, and he’s prioritized making sure GR0 has the best practices in workplace culture and diversity, while continuing to offer services to smaller businesses and D2C brands. He is grateful to everyone who’s supported and motivated him along the way.
Jon has creativity in his genes, coming from a long line of innovators and professionals who motivated him to succeed. His grandfather, Richard Zacharias, was a part owner of Dove and helped bring the Dove ice cream bar to the masses. Jon’s father, Steve Zacharias, is the writer of the iconic 1984 film Revenge of the Nerds, a comedy in which high school underdogs get their day.
Jon channeled his entrepreneurial and creative roots into building GR0, an operation which allows him to play matchmaker for businesses and some of the world’s more prominent outlets and faces and utilize his artistic eye as well as his business prowess.
Jon was honored to be inspired and mentored by Carter Reum and Steve Weiss, both successful businessmen, authors, and men of principle. Carter is a founder of startup engine M13 Ventures, and also built a successful liquor brand from the ground up with his brother Courtney. The brand, VeeV, was named one of Inc. Magazine’s ‘500 Fastest-Growing Private Companies in America’ before he sold it in 2016.
Steve is a serial entrepreneur and the CEO of digital marketing agency MuteSix. He started his first successful venture at just 16 years old from the computer lab in his highschool, and his passion for business hasn’t slowed down since — something that has inspired Jon immensely throughout their years of friendship.
One of Jon’s main goals with his company is to pay his success forward and to help build others up just as Steve, Carter, Kevin, and more have supported him in the past.
Jon is incredibly passionate about his family’s charity, the Zacharias Sexual Abuse Center in Lake County, IL, which is an advocacy task force that provide services to survivors of sexual abuse.
With his SEO and marketing efforts, Jon helps the center widen awareness to the local community so that it can provide education, training, and resources to survivors, including support from and connections to law enforcement and medical professionals.
The center was founded in 1981, and works to help 50,000 women annually heal from their traumas. No matter his personal success, Jon will always prioritize making time to assist the ZCenter in any way that he can.