041: English, Ethics, Education, and Encouragement in Paid Search with Navah Hopkins

C: Podcast

From an early dream of becoming an English teacher to her pivotal shift into the marketing world, Navah’s story is a testament to following one’s true calling. Discover how her mentors shaped her into a professional and compassionate leader, and explore mentorship strategies that have left a lasting impact. Navah shares invaluable insights on digital marketing trends, data privacy, and the surprising findings from Optmyzer’s recent study. Whether you’re an experienced marketer or a newcomer, Navah’s wisdom will leave you inspired and better equipped for success in the dynamic realm of digital marketing. 

Key Points + Topics

  • [3:03] Navah Hopkins, like so many of our guests, came to digital marketing via a bit of an indirect route. When in 3rd grade, she decided she was going to be an English teacher, and that stayed her plan through school until she started college. As she started going through her university program, she realized the teaching would set her up to be poor and ineffective because of the many constraints on teachers. This realization, combined with other life factors, led her to take medical withdrawal. She moved to Florida with her family and took a full course load at FAU. At some point, she had a meaningful conversation with a relative who told her she was denying who she truly was and that she was born to work in marketing. So, she transferred to Emerson University. While attending, she had an amazing PR professor, John Barosha, who gave all of his students an assignment to go out and find mentors. He told them to open the conversation by framing it as an informational interview. This is effective because, firstly, students are non-threatening, and a request like this can be very flattering to the professional. Secondly, there are many people who make it reasonably far into their careers before realizing it’s not what they want. 
  • [7:07] It always helps to be human. Navah is a very genuine and authentic person. She reached out to one of the heads of PR at Playstation and the head of a gaming blog via LinkedIn. This was the beginning of LinkedIn as it is, so the tool was there, but few people were using it. 
  • [08:28] Navah has a major foundation in English and written content. Her career started in SEO. With her background, she seems tailor-made to be in SEO for the rest of her career. Regrettably, she wound up working in a type of SEO that did not align with her ethics. She didn’t feel good about herself and felt she was sabotaging relationships that may be useful later. 
  • [09:30] After SEO, she and her then-boyfriend-now-husband started a (failed) non-profit, Angel Ed. The aim was to make education as debt-free as possible through the use of mentorship and scholarships. She did not have an MBA when going into this business venture. However, through the process of starting, running, and ultimately closing, this business gave her a real-life MBA. After that business closed, she was so burnt out she took a year off to be a nanny and rest her brain a little bit. Then, she decided to stop pitying herself and start applying for jobs. There were two that opened their doors; her ultimate choice was to join the team at Wordstream. 
  • [11:50] She calls her time at Wordstream “the dulling of the edge.” From her time at Angel Ed, she’d become very distrustful and aggressive. When she started at Wordstream, there were numerous instances where people would agree that she was technically correct in her answers and solutions, but no one wanted to work with her on that solution because she was too abrasive. She had a couple of managers, including Zena Cayelli, who really helped her grow from being an individual contributor to an empowerer of others in an organization. 
  • [16:28] A mentor is someone who can help you unlock a part of yourself that’s already there and amplify it so it’s useful. That’s it, according to Navah. Mentors aren’t going to be just professionals. The mentor/mentee relationship will differ with each person. 
  • [17:11] Purna Virji of High Impact Content Marketing does what Navah aspires to be. She is a worldwide sharer of knowledge while balancing her personal life with an incredible internal strength. It’s a very hard balance to find without work life or personal life consuming the other. Navah didn’t ask Purna to be her mentor; it grew organically. Mentorship doesn’t have to be with someone who is at a very different point in their career than you. It can be peers and colleagues. 
  • [19:32] Navah now mentors others in her own capacity. A memorable and recent one actually began playing video games together. They became friends first as he mentored her in a game. As they were talking, he’d mentioned he was already working a full-time job but was about to start working at an auto factory. He didn’t pursue marketing. But Navah offered him an internship with a work stipend. She set up an arrangement where he would manage some of the smaller accounts her firm came across. He would make the majority of the money off of them, and she would take a couple of small processing fees. A year ago, he was just making the $500/mo work stipend. Last month, Navah paid him $10,000 in work fees. 
  • [21:30] As an effective mentor, you need to be able to identify people’s strengths and who is confident and capable of doing which jobs. Navah would not ask this man to be client-facing as that’s not where his skills lie. A mentor is going to have a bigger impact if they don’t try to improve their mentees on every skill under the sun. It’s also interesting to know that Navah had made this same offer to others. Whether due to fear or ego, they’d all turned it down. It’s important to know that when you agree to be mentored, you’re taking a very big step and should be proud of yourself because you’re growing as a person. 
  • [28:20] Navah has another mentor she loves very much. They’ve developed a mutual empowerment rapport. Shelly Fagin. When they first connected, they were both at a point in their careers where they were just treading along but not happy with their growth. They identified this in each other and helped coach each other on how to break out of that rut and further themselves. 
  • [34:19] Navah is a founding member of The Paid Search Association (PSA), a professional organization they’re currently working to transition to a nonprofit organization. She believes PSA is one of the most meaningful aggregates of paid media professionals. And it’s not just marketers present; ad networks, businesses, agencies, and software companies are all there as well. People are always amazed the content we offer is free. Foxhole Founders is another organization Navah is a part of that she recommends for other business professionals. It does have a membership fee (that can be waived in many instances). It puts you “in the room” (figuratively and literally speaking) with some very impressive business people and helps you make those connections. 
  • [39:08] GA4 means something to marketers when it comes to data privacy. Some accounts are going to start seeing a lot of (undefined) or (not provided) because more people are starting to opt out of sharing their data. And that’s A-OK. Navah knows we just have to optimize on the data we DO have. She also reminds us that Google and Microsoft aren’t the only ones in the room. Amazon and LinkedIn offer audience targeting that’s very interesting. She’s ad network agnostic and focuses instead on what will help people win, assuming they can meet the creative needs of that platform. She does find it interesting how, with the onset of GA4 being such a big deal for the last year, many people were still unprepared. Many are also seeing how little it’s impacting account performance. It seems we’re all now realizing how much data we were collecting (read: hoarding) and how much of that data we were actually using. 
  • [45:35] Optmyzer very recently released a study covering the case of broad match v. exact match AND maximize conversions v. maximize conversion value. It was very much not what many of us (especially Navah) expected. She notes this is just as much a case study in being okay with being wrong as it is on the different ad strategies. She has defended broad match as the superior choice for ages. However, it seems we marketers have been giving broad match a bit too much credit. When comparing the two (broad and exact), exact match wins in cost-per-acquisition (CPA), cost-per-click (CPC), and conversion rate. Further, you don’t lose any conversion volume. Every single account where exact match performed better, broad match terms were also being used. So, it’s important to remember there’s a place for each. 
  • [48:32] Despite having to change her stance on match-type strategy, Navah loved getting a taste of her own medicine. It helped confirm to her that she’s still capable of owning when she’s wrong and updating her stance to agree with the data (rather than only looking for data that matches her stance). The other piece that was very meaningful to Navah and Optmyzer is that this allows them to think differently about how they build campaigns for their clients. Should they be making more exact match or broad match heavy structures? 
  • [51:43] Google’s been touting the move to broad match for some time now. Does Optmyzer intend to repeat and re-evaluate this study later on? Absolutely. Navah believes it’s neither reasonable nor responsible for those who release studies to do one-and-done studies. Just call it art. She thinks it’s critical that we constantly check and re-check our data. 
  • [56:11] Performance Max Campaigns (PMAX) – Interestingly enough, Navah firmly believes PMAX should be a part of every account. If you’re looking for somewhere to send your broad match budget (based on the study discussed earlier), PMAX would be the place to go. If you’re still uncertain about PMAX, try running without it for a quarter and then use some comparison tools to see your performance against your competitors. If you’re still competitive or “winning,” then don’t worry about it. She suspects, however, that you’ll find yourself falling behind a bit. There are certain placements you will be depriving yourself of. You’re not leaning into Google’s toys, and she feels like you’ll see worse results without PMAX. However, when running ONLY PMAX campaigns, those campaigns do not perform as well. So, right now, it’s best to run both. But she believes it SHOULDN’T be required for success that an account needs a budget for traditional AND PMAX campaigns.
    • [58:36] Lead gen v. E-comm using PMAX | This is her opinion based on what she has seen. She thinks PMAX works as well as it can IF you give it conversion values. If you deprive it of that data, it will return decreased performance. 
  • [1:00:00] I would remove branded terms from PMAX campaigns. I think you should remove new visitors and new customers (because they’re viewed differently by Google). Make sure your branded terms are negatives in your traditional campaigns; don’t just exclude audiences. 

Guest + Episode Links

Full Episode Transcript

Danny Gavin Host 01:02

Hello everyone, I’m Danny Gavin, founder of Optidge, Marketing Professor and the host of the Digital Marketing Mentor. We are very, very lucky today to have a very special guest, Navah Hopkins, a PPC influencer, consultant and brand evangelist with Optimizer. Navah has a passion for innovation, fueled by a hybrid of strategic partnerships, data analysis and consumer engagement. A veteran of the digital marketing industry, she began as an SEO in 2008, transitioning to PPC in 2012. Throughout her career. Navah has made a point to give back and love sharing lessons learned on the international speaking circuit as well as local universities. She’s a frequent contributor to SEJ Sam Rush WordStream, blogs lots of webinars and today we’re going to be talking about PPC Ethics in Digital Marketing and Mentorship. Navah, how are you?

Navah Hopkins Guest 01:50

I am so well and that was such a gracious introduction. Thank you so much for having me. Thank you so much for inviting me to do this discussion.

Danny Gavin Host 01:58

Pleasure, so I want to let the audience know. Like so when did Danny Gavin find out about Navah? So back in the early days of my agency, which started in 2017, a group of my colleagues went to Austin. I think it might have been a WordStream event. I don’t remember the one guy in particular I’m going to call him out-  Joseph Wolff – but he comes back. He’s like, oh my God, I’ve fallen in love with this lady and like he could not stop talking about Navah and so my agency. It’s funny because Navah’s kind of like his crush, so it’s funny. Joseph doesn’t do PPC anymore. He’s head of the paid social department, so it’s funny. But like in my mind, Navah’s like one of our fun stories in our agency and it’s really amazing that we get to talk today.

Navah Hopkins Guest 02:38

That’s really flattering. I didn’t realize that what’s really lovely about both the WordStream events and also it might have also been a PubCon event is that there’s a lot of great opportunities to just connect with people and have these really meaningful conversations, not just about helping the business, but also about just connecting on what’s going on in life. That’s just really special to know that that was that impactful.

Danny Gavin Host 03:03

We’re going to jump right in Navah. Let’s talk about where you went to school and what you studied.

Navah Hopkins Guest 03:08

So I’m an interesting case. When I was in the third grade I decided I am going to be an English teacher and from third grade until college, that’s what it was going to be I’m going to be an English teacher. But as I was going through my program, I went to SUNY Binghamton. I realized two really critical things. The education system was going to set me up to be poor and ineffective because there are so many constraints on teachers. There are so many roadblocks to being able to actually support students in a really meaningful, scalable way and, combined with other factors, I ended up actually taking a medical withdrawal, did a full course load my family was living in Florida at the time at FAU and realized you know what I need to kind of rethink things. And I had a really meaningful conversation with a relative who told me Navah, what are you doing? You are denying the core of who you are. You were meant to be in marketing. You have both profound empathy and a mercantile just go get them ambition attitude and you’re denying what would serve you best and where you can make the most impact.


So I transferred to Emerson where, funnily enough, there was an amazing PR professor, john Boroszak, who actually gave us all an assignment of we had to go out and find mentors, and the skill of cultivating mentorship really stuck with me beyond all the other marketing stuff. That kind of just stayed with me and helped me actually be always a little bit more ahead of my peers in age because I was able to just have these conversations and it took away the fear of, well, this person is a CEO or this person is a C level executive. People are people and if you talk to people in honor of what they want, why they want it, people tend to want to help other people. So that transition between my relative kind of saying, like Navah, what are you doing? Like going into marketing, and that professor who basically gave us an assignment if we had to go cultivate mentorships were two really critical moments in my education that then set me up for success in my career.

Danny Gavin Host 05:30

Yeah, it’s cool and about an hour ago I was just in an orientation for an MBA program and I was there kind of just answering questions to students about a career in marketing and I was kind of pushing how important it is those real life experiences and like trying to push yourself outside of the classroom and I just love to see that that was like such a big part of your life and it makes so much sense of like who you are and what you’ve accomplished.

Navah Hopkins Guest 05:57

Well, what’s actually really funny, the people that I reached out to and it was specifically phrased and I encourage everyone to do this is an informational interview. When you’re in that very early stage of your career, because you’re not threatening, you’re young, you’re looking to learn, and it is honestly very flattering when someone comes to you and says I want to learn from you. But it’s most people will be very gracious with their time. They’ll be flattered, they’ll be happy to help. But the other reason why it’s useful to phrase it as an informational interview is that you are showing that you’re trying to understand. Is this a path I want to walk?


There are a lot of people that will get reasonably far in their career and realize it’s not at all what they want. They’re miserable and they have to transition. But they might be so far down that it’s they kind of suffer through until it’s time to just be done with work. And life is too short to have work be pure work. There should be joy, there should be passion in what you’re doing and that informational interview at the beginning of your career, connecting with people and kind of seeing those different pieces, definitely helps.


The other thing that really helps is being human. People who know me know that I am an avid nerd, I am an avid gamer, I cannot help myself and that authentic love and connection was actually very useful, because who I reached out to for those informational interviews is. I reached out to one of the heads of PR at the time for PlayStation and, just like, hey, can you help me understand, is this something I would want? Same thing also with a CMO of gaming blog at the time hey, can you help me understand? And being able to connect on the human things made it much easier to connect on the professional things, because you’re willing to do more for someone you like professionally than someone who’s just out of the near.

Danny Gavin Host 07:53

And I’m so curious because nowadays it’s relatively easy, right? Because you can go on LinkedIn and pretty much reach out to anyone.

Navah Hopkins Guest 07:58

That’s how I did it.

Danny Gavin Host 08:00

Oh, so you did it on LinkedIn.

Navah Hopkins Guest 08:02

At the beginning of LinkedIn, I got very lucky. The tool was there but not everyone was using it. So if you’re willing to be a first person mover, an early adopter and again you have to be willing to also get some knows Like there are going to be some people that they don’t respond, and that’s okay, people are busy but if you’re willing to put in a little bit of extra time, you definitely can get some meaningful conversations.

Danny Gavin Host 08:28

So just to step back a drop. Obviously a big foundation in English and writing and reading. You started off in SEO, but then suddenly you switched to paid search. What like to me, it’s like. With that foundation, I feel like you would have been an SEO forever. What made that switch?

Navah Hopkins Guest 08:46

I am a very ethically driven person and it was my misfortune in my career that, even though I learned a ton and I am very grateful for all of the positive that came out of that initial learning experience but the ethics of the type of SEO I had fallen into were just not there and I felt really bad about myself and I felt like I was ruining relationships that could otherwise be very meaningful down the road by continuing down that path. And what actually ended up happening is after that I took the money I had earned and I started a failed nonprofit startup called Angel Ed. I started with my then-boyfriend and now husband and the goal was to make education as debt-free and employable as possible through mentorship and scholarships. But the catch was I didn’t have an MBA. I didn’t really understand how many mistakes I was making when we set this nonprofit up, and so I ended up getting a quasi-MBA in the process of failing with that startup, because I learned all of what not to do, the mechanics of investment, the mechanics of how to structure a corp, how to think about your operations, how to think about tech debt, how to think about all of these things, and that process actually burnt me out so much. I took the year off and just worked as a nanny because I needed to just shut my brain off and just work with kids and kind of get back to what makes me happy and going back to being a teacher, Like I wanted to work with kids. But throughout that entire time I would take on freelance clients for Google Ads and I was like you know what. I’ve spent enough time feeling sorry for myself. I’ve recovered enough. I’m going to go start applying again for a more serious job, because going from very much focused work to being a nanny is so.


I applied for two jobs. One was actually with a mentor I cultivated in my angel ed time and it would have been a business development position working in partnership with universities. And the other was WordStream and for whatever reason, I could not quiet the WordStream. This makes sense, Like this is a really good fit. And what was funny is that they were telling me when interviewing me we feel like you will be bored. We feel like you are going to take this job is not going to be stimulating enough for you. You don’t understand. I will take whatever and I will make it interesting to me. And five years later it was a really meaningful path. But throughout that time I learned quite a bit about not just mentorship, of growing yourself, but how you can be the most meaningful person on a team.


I call my WordStream time the kind of dulling of the edge. My first company really honed me into being a little bit mistrustful, more aggressive, like just get it done, get it done, go, go, go, and taking that attitude into WordStream was just not helpful and there were many times that I was right and people would all agree I was correct, but no one wanted to kind of go along with me being right because of how, at the time, abrasive I was. I’m being as honest and transparent about it as possible because I want people to learn and to grow from it and what ended up happening is through enough meaningful connections and enough meaningful bosses and managers. And I want to give a shout out to one in particular, Zina Kayeli. She really helped me go from a really useful individual contributor who could be used by organizations to a really meaningful, empowered people.


When I was so focused on just getting it done and focusing on who’s correct, who’s not like let’s go, I wasn’t always able to meet people where they were and I would sometimes overlook the good that was there and the more that I stopped focusing on what was actually correct and more focusing on how can we all get to the place that will be the most meaningful for everyone.


It really helped me kind of make that leap. And so if there’s one thing I can say to all individual contributors out there who are maybe trying to make that leap from individual contributor to manager or individual contributor to just owning your own thing, it is okay to bite your tongue and let someone else be right, because you actually have more power when people come to you to help them in their growth and the more that you can let your ambition be. I want an army of people who are successful and they have their careers in their own right and they are appreciative of how I’ve helped them, as opposed to man. That person did great Like I’m jealous of that person, I don’t want to really work with that person. It’s a matter of how you balance yourself.

Danny Gavin Host 14:09

No, I love it. Two things that I just want to bring out from that. So one would be WordStream. When they were interviewing you they could have just said, ah, she’s too much, and they’re not even talk to you. But the fact that they came back and said their issue and discussed it with you, I think it’s a huge lesson for so many people. You might think people are wrong for the role, but if you don’t actually talk it through, you could lose out on some amazing talent.


The other aspect that I would say is from that concept of fostering a situation where it’s not just me but I’m enabling others. I’m sure it helps when the environment and the culture of the company breeds that. So the idea is that when you give golden stars, for when someone helps someone else, it’s going to be easier for them to do it. So just kind of like a, I’m giving a pitch to that concept of like people are at the top of organizations, right, we can see that everyone’s going to grow more when they aren’t that individual contributor but they’re helping others. So it helps to provide that sort of environment.

Navah Hopkins Guest 15:12

And this is not to say that a competitive program isn’t useful but you want to make sure that you’re structuring it in such a way that everyone believes there’s a chance they can win.


When you have top earners who consistently win and no one else does, you’re going to de-incentivize participation and they’re going to just like all right, I don’t need to win. It’s a collective goal and you’re kind of all competing together against your best self yesterday. That’s when you really can see gains. So, as someone who won Spiffs, as someone who held organized Spiffs, as someone who being sad at people for just not dissipating and kind of like leaving money on the table not everyone is motivated by that I have to be the best, I have to earn, and if you have an army of people like that, you actually will be less productive because it’s too aggressive. You want a collaborative, warm environment. You want an environment where people are willing to help each other, and so if you organize Spiffs or contests around performance or around goals that focus on helping each other and sharing knowledge, you’ll do a lot better than pitting everyone against each other.

Danny Gavin Host 16:28

So, Navah, as we’ve mentioned the word mentorship a couple times, how would you define the term?

Navah Hopkins Guest 16:35

mentor, someone who can help you unlock a part of yourself that’s already there and amplify it so that it’s useful. That’s it. Mentors are not just going to be professional. Mentors can also help you in other capacities, and mentorship is going to look different for every single. The mentor-mentee relationship is going to look different for every single group.


I’ve had mentors that I’ve asked of them to be very critical and very harsh. I have mentors that I go to specifically because I know that they will make me feel better about myself. One mentor in particular, and I’m going to shamelessly plug her Pruna Avergy. She just wrote a new book, high Impact Content Marketing.


One of the reasons why I’ve always considered her a mentor is she does what I aspire to do, which is to be a worldwide share of knowledge and empower and supporter, but she also balances her personal life and all of those pieces. She has an incredible internal strength of how she goes about it. I look at her as a mentor of more just how to be kinder to myself when it comes to balancing everything With particulars of industry-wise. I would say that we both are very smart people, we both help each other, we both share. But where I look at her as truly a mentor is in how she goes about balancing her work life and her work stresses and all of that, and being gracious and not kind of letting stresses overtake On the personal side, how she balances those as well. And the same token, it is very, very hard to balance both a work life and a personal life and not have one consume the other. I think her perspective on everything is just lovely.

Danny Gavin Host 18:37

Did you ask her to be your mentor?

Navah Hopkins Guest1 8:40

It happened organically. She used to be when I was at Wordstream. She used to head up the education for our company, for Microsoft, and then she transitioned to LinkedIn. We just really connected and just gradually she just became an incredible mentor, but also friend. I think that’s an important component too. Mentorship doesn’t have to be someone who is vastly further in career. Mentorship can be at a friend or a peer level. It’s something that you are trying to improve and this person happens to have some useful way of helping you unlock that thing that you’re trying to improve.

Danny Gavin Host 19:26

All right, Navahr, now that we’ve gone through how your mentors have influenced your life, let’s talk about how you’ve mentored others. I know you’ve done this in multiple ways. You recently mentioned a story about a friend of the gaming industry.

Navah Hopkins Guest 19:39

Yes, it’s actually really funny. I became friends with him as he mentored me in the video game that we were playing. He really helped me out a lot in that game. As we were talking, I found out that he was not only working his full-time job, but he was about to go working at an auto factory for a grade-grad shift. He was going to do all this really hard work and not go out and make a lot of money on it. He’s so smart, he’s a brilliant guy, didn’t pursue marketing knowledge at all Originally.


I’m unaware of whether he has a college degree, but what I offered him was listen, take a learning stipend with me and do an apprenticeship and what we’ll do is we’ll work out an arrangement where, once you’re come from one confident lower spend accounts we’ll put to you You’ll make most of the money. I’ll just take a couple of fees just to cover expenses. I’m just for processing and that we started off that way. He did work on e-commerce accounts. He did work on Lean Gen, he did a lot of work with local service ads and he went from getting that $500 learning stipend with me essentially last year to last month. I paid him out $10,000 in account work that he did.

Danny Gavin Host 21:00


Navah Hopkins Guest 21:01

Based off of the clients that he’s managing. Just that he’s doing the work, and what was really special about this is that once you learn the rules of engagement, it’s very easy to kind of apply them at scale. Not everyone is aware of the opportunity that our industry represents, so this is not just about supporting people with soft skills. This is also about the technical hard skills and identifying who is capable and confident at doing what. So in this particular instance, I do not have him do client calls. I do not have him do customer facing stuff. That’s not where his strengths lie. His strengths lie in being extremely technically proficient and getting things very quickly and just running with it. And so, rather than asking someone to be everything, identifying what skills they’re really really good at and amplifying those is a much more meaningful path to growth for the person being mentored and the person doing the mentoring, you’re able to have a much bigger impact, and if you try to drag every skill under the sun onto that person. A final note I’ll just say that there’s a thing in Judaism of not Shani Nahis I’m not very observant, but it applies here. He is now going to be able to afford a house and take the next step with his girlfriend because of this income, like I did so at this timeline. So much so there are very real impact to mentoring and it’s very rare that you get to see it this closely of how much it mattered.


But yeah, I’m super happy for him and I’m super happy and proud that I was able to do this, because the other piece to the story is I had actually offered this opportunity to a few other people and, either through fear or through pride, they said no. They were like I can’t do it, I don’t want to do it, I can’t do it. So it’s worth noting that when you agree to be mentored, it is a very big thing. You are taking a very big step and you should be incredibly proud of yourself for leaning into the fact that you need help in a particular area, but that you are not helpless. You’re growing in the way that you need to be grown and you’re identifying someone who can help you grow in that way. So I’m just as thrilled and happy that he said yes to letting me help him as I am for him.

Danny Gavin Host 23:31

Wow, that is so inspiring. I know it’s not just us, but it says that in Judaism, regarding charity, that the highest level of charity is not just to give something to someone one time, but it’s to give something, someone that they can continue working, giving someone a job or a way to create a living. And you’ve definitely done that and I can see the joy in your face and your eyes. Some people are like, oh my gosh, I got to write a $10,000 check to someone. There’s pain sometimes for some people, but with you it’s none of that and it’s truly like look what I’ve been able to help him with and create this amazing new opportunity. And wow, so cool, so exciting.

Navah HopkinsGuest24:10

It’s actually really funny. I get a little happy dance like, oh my God, look, we got you a new choir. And, to be fair, I would not do this for everybody. There are certain skills that he showed me that made me know this was useful. So I think it’s actually useful for me to talk about that too, kind of vetting who you would want to mentor. One skill in particular is that he, like I do, enjoys a challenge. There’s a certain thrill to, there’s something I need to conquer. I’m conquering it.


The other piece that was very important and it’s actually why I started kind of looking through my group of MMO friends that like who could I help with teaching marketing is there are certain skills that go into digital marketing of understanding kind of worker placement.


So I often will share the story of whenever I’m training someone in digital marketing, I’ll typically play a worker placement game with them to understand what resources do you have, how to deploy them, why you’re doing what you’re doing, kind of that strategy. And he had that. He had that as a baseline. So, even though he didn’t have the specific technical rules of engagement down, he had the core skill set. So I didn’t have to worry about teaching that, and the final thing I’ll say is that ethics we talked about it, I think, earlier. He is very grounded in ethics and it matters when you’re mentoring someone, you will feel good about helping someone advance. I cannot mentor someone that I don’t believe in who they are as a person and I very much believe in who he is as a person. So that was my kind of vetting criteria.

Danny Gavin Host 25:51

I’m enjoying this mentorship thread. Obviously you’re a prolific speaker, we’re talking about speaking. I know you’ve mentored a couple folks in public speaking. Tell me a little bit about that.

Navah Hopkins Guest 26:00

One person in particular. I’m actually extremely proud of, amazing woman, Nick Ranger. She’s actually in Australia. I met her at a search marketing summit and all of us who were at that event fell in love with her. She was this brilliant, tenacious, amazing force for good. She was at this crossroads in her career. Would she choose to kind of be a well-paid but plateaued, stunted person at this one agency where there was never going to really be growth, or should she take a chance on this other opportunity? That would give her a lot more visibility, a lot more growth, but it would almost be kind of a step back in pay, but a lot more upside if it worked out. And what we basically talked about is what sparks joy, what are the things that bring you the most joy? And you could see how pain she was in this other role and how excited she was by the prospect of this other thing. And the other piece to it was giving her the talk, because I think everyone needs to have the talk of.


The only difference between people who are up on a stage or winning awards is that they pitch. That’s it. That is the long and short of it. The amount of intellect, charisma, usefulness, all of it is there is nothing separating someone in the audience from the stage other than the pitch. Now, it is true there are certain people who have done enough speaking that they’ll be asked to go, regardless of pitching. But I’ll also point out that there’s a certain point where some speakers relinquish their technical chops in order to be more strategically useful or more of a brand, and they’ll have other people kind of do the work. What I love about this particular person, nick, she will never, ever relinquish her technical chops. She is honed by the thrill of advancing the industry and I think she is one of the brightest stars to grace the digital marketing stage. I love her to pieces.


The other person I’ll give a shout out to and it’s not even really a mentor, it’s just someone who I personally love very much and I think we have a nice kind of empowerment rapport is Shelly Fagan. Shelly and I were at a point in our careers where we both were kind of treading along but we weren’t necessarily happy in our growth and we both identified that in each other and kind of said what needed to be said to break free. And here’s how you can go, be amazing and it’s worth noting when you go into a speaker room or a speaker enclave or any kind of free event with speakers and they’re first time speakers, pull them aside and let them know that they’ll be brilliant. Make a point to go into their sessions and live tweet or do a promotional tweet for their sessions, because those are first time speakers and this is not to say either the two amazing women are first time speakers.


At this point they’re very much established. There are a ton of really brilliant folks that aren’t confident in their usefulness, and so when they see someone that they love and respect is promoting them, it is a huge thing you can do. So, as much as it might be tempting to kind of just go into the corner, hang out with your friends, not engage as much with the sessions, find one first time speaker and amplify their session, even if you can’t go to it the full thing. Just put a tweet out, put a LinkedIn thing out, whatever, because it will matter, they will appreciate it and it will help give them the confidence to come back and to do it again.

Danny Gavin Host 30:03

And I love that idea of empowering others. Once again, it’s that same theme of like how can I give and how can I raise people up? And sometimes we feel that when we do that, we take away from ourselves. But it’s the opposite.

Navah Hopkins Guest 30:18

You gain power by giving power.

Danny Gavin Host 30:20

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Navah Hopkins Guest 31:23

Well, I will admit I am drawn to causes that I like. So dogs yeah, go, dogs go. I’m currently doing the great local, local SEO for good, and my charity was go, dogs go. It has nothing to do with anything other than I want to support those amazing folks.


There are other instances, though, where I will consider how likely is it that me investing the time and effort will actually yield results. So, for example, if I know a nonprofit has the infrastructure in place, they just don’t have the people to amplify them, I will happily give my time. If the nonprofit is looking for one person to come in and be marketing and sales and write up a business plan for them, it’s not going to be worth the time effort. Like, I will happily, if I like the cause, donate a little bit of money, but I’m not going to necessarily donate my time, because, at this point, my time is worth a lot more, and I want to make sure that that time is invested well. The other thing, though and this is kind of why I give so much of my time in writing articles and blog posts and being on the blogging and all that when you invest the time in creating content, that is a one to many way to give of your time to people. So even if you can’t directly interact with every single person that you want to help, you’re able to make it useful.


It’s actually a big reason why, at the end of my exploration into what does Navahjo Hopkidz want to do with herself, I really kept finding myself back in the SaaS community because, even though it’s a lot of fun working for one brand and being the in-house superstar, even though there’s a lot of kind of dynamic engagement in agency, when you’re in the SaaS world or software as a service, you’re able to take your brain and scale it.


You’re able to take something that’s really useful and scale it. In every other instance, you’ll help a couple of people and you’ll help me help them really beautifully well, but you’re not going to be able to really make a huge impact, whereas software is in that unique position of yeah, not everyone’s going to get the same amount of use out of the software, like there’s going to be a learning curve, but you’re still going to be able to grow and get as much as you can out of it. So that is why I really look for opportunities where I can do something once and have it explode or I really like the cause and the infrastructure is there, so if I invest the time in a more personal way, it’s not wasted. It’s highly probable that the nonprofit will still be there.

Danny Gavin Host 34:16

Another sort of I don’t know if we’ll term it as a nonprofit, but another association that you’re very much a part of is you’re a founding member of the Paid Search Association. We’ve spoken with many digital marketers on this podcast about how incredible the digital marketing community is. How have you consolidated, funneled some of that community generosity into the association?

Navah Hopkins Guest 34:37

I love that question, so it’s actually really funny. We’re in the process of converting the Paid Search Association into a nonprofit, so fingers crossed, we will be nonprofits soon, good timing.


Yeah. So the Paid Search Association is probably one of the most meaningful aggregates of Paid Media not just Google, but Paid Media professionals and part of the reason why it’s so powerful is that the ad networks are at the table, just as agencies and softwares and general practitioners. So we had, for example, and asked me anything with Jenny Marvin, who’s the product liaison for Google, and she is so giving of her time. She is so loving with her time and people are able to get a lot more transparency out of that. The other thing I’ll say about the Paid Search Association is that it is definitely a labor of love, but every single one of us always bring really meaningful content. So when people attend our stuff, they’re often very surprised that it was free. It’s like, well, part of the reason that it’s free is we have our amazing sponsors and go to the Paid Search Association. You can check out all our sponsors there and they enable us to give all that content. The other reason is that we founded it to be an empowerment enabler group for all practitioners that you don’t feel kind of. You’re left alone.


I will give another shout out to another amazing organization. I’m a part of the Foxwell Founders. There’s a social one and also PPC and they’re equal but different in how they approach things. So the Paid Search Association is far more focused on let’s bring together all the different ad networks and let’s kind of have a little bit more market research funneling things back and forth. Foxwell Founders is far more about. There are some really impressive people in the room and if you want to connect and enable your own career, that is a very powerful way to do it. It’s kind of those really meaningful connections and, of course, the learnings that Foxwell Founders without are amazing. It is worth noting that Foxwell Founders does have a membership fee. Paid Search Association we’ve weaved it for most folks, unless you’re looking for a more premium situation. But both organizations are a great way to connect with the Paid Media community, not just Google, but Paid Social, microsoft, tiktok, things like that.

Danny Gavin Host 37:06

You mentioned writing blog posts. I know that many of your publications and posts focus on the actionable day-to-day optimizations and processes of PPC management. However, we know you’re very passionate about ethics and preserving privacy for the digital customer. How does that factor into your overall approach to PPC and optimization?

Navah Hopkins Guest 37:25

So I like that you began with. You’re very technical, but you also are ethical and I actually think that’s the answer to scaling your success in today’s world. So the old days of PPC are done, where you could kind of get away with I’m floating through my account, I’m just doing the things and pressing the buttons. It’s not to say that this is what everyone was doing, but the means to access your best audiences, the means to target them most efficiently, the means to bid them most efficiently, didn’t used to be gated behind a privacy first world and the technical implications of it. So I think the more people focus on growing the skills around first-party audiences, offline conversions, making sure that everything is tired correctly, really building in not just persona, mapping of what might content, what content might best speak to the overall groups, the very technical pieces, the better off you’ll be. If you are not capable of, or if you don’t have the folks who are capable on staff to do the technical implementation, I will say there are a number of really great resources by Google, but also by other organizations that can give you at least a little bit of a tutorial Once you have your Google Tag Manager on the site and you should have the most up to date one. It’s very easy to take care of all those little nuances. If you’re trying to do things meetingly with individual snippets of code or with other pieces, it can get a little bit funky.


On the subject of GA4, because you can’t talk about privacy without talking about GA4 and how that data all pays out I think the biggest area that people are going to be impacted is really on audiences, because there’s a thresholding piece that you need to have a certain amount of people and there can be some brands that are not going to have them. You’re going to need to rely on more than native audiences than your own personal ones. The other piece is the actual mapping of data. A lot of people will get undefined or not set or all these things because of syntax, but also because some folks may have started opting out of letting their data be tracked, and that is AOK. What you just then need to do is, with the data that you have, make the most meaningful decisions you can. For example, if you see that a certain page on your site is getting a lot of traffic and that page has nothing really to do with converting anybody, that’s a good sign to see. Well, is there an opportunity to update this page so that I can improve it, that it can convert? Is this a sign that I need to be directing people to the wrong page? Now, with paid, we have a little bit more control over that.


On SEO, it’s what you optimized for, but that’s definitely a consideration, I will say, from a audience standpoint. Google and Microsoft are not the only ones in the room. I would definitely pay attention to Amazon. Amazon audiences are very, very interesting. I would also pay attention to LinkedIn. Linkedin audiences are very, very interesting. Depending on your vertical, you may want to start shifting your budgets around. I personally am agnostic to ad networks. I focus on what will help people win. It’s a combination of your budgets, your ability to technically implement and then, of course, can you meet the creative need? Can you do videos or not? Do you have the means to leverage stock photos or brand compliance being issued?

Danny Gavin Host 41:14

Just things like that Dipping into GA4, now that we’re a few weeks in, have things progressed like you thought they would, or has something behaved unexpectedly, just in general I mean, it could be with you specific or just in general the community with what’s going on.

Navah Hopkins Guest 41:31

I think my favorite little story of GA4 is how many people really are still not prepared with GA4 and how little it’s actually impacting account performance. There are some people where it definitely is and there are some people that are a thousand percent prepared. I think a lot of the general sentiment with GA4 is there’s this rush to fix it, even though we had two years to get it done. There’s this comfort in knowing how much data we were actually using versus how much we were hoarding. I think it’s a very important mechanic of being a human that we tend to hold on to things just because we feel like we have to hold on to them, that we could have a use for it rather than one that is truly making a difference in our business.


From a GA4 standpoint, I think the more that you can make sure that just your baseline is set, ie you have events that are tracking for conversions, I had a client that had no events for conversions for a little bit. That was scary. That was terrible. I was pretty sad. But barring that, you probably have the information that you need. There’s no reason to stress. Where I do see some folks probably getting a little bit frustrated is going into the shopping season because we’re now using two completely different data sets. So let’s say you have your universal analytics backed up or you are in a human GA4, you’re probably going to hit an issue of well, I can’t really truly compare the seasonality but it’s not the end of the world.

Danny Gavin Host 43:10

It reminds me a chat that I had late at night with Tim Solo, the CMO of ARFs, and it wasn’t on the podcast, it was just like he was reaching out to people to get their opinion and he told me that I think the first five, six, maybe even until today, building you know all of the different marketing programs they did not even have Google Analytics installed on their website.


And to me that was crazy, like the fact that, man, they didn’t even have it and they still did everything that they did. It just reminds me of what you’re saying, where, like, we can still accomplish so much without it. I mean, obviously, having GA4 is going to help us a lot, but I think that idea of practically of what we need a lot of it is there and therefore I always like to say the approach that I like to have Google Analytics is if you’re just going to go in there and spend a bunch of time, you’re going to get lost, you’re going to waste time. You really have to have a goal, like what’s the question, what’s the business need, what are the questions that I need to answer? And then let me now go into GA4 and to see what those answers are. And if I don’t know what the answer is, then maybe I need to set something up differently.

Navah Hopkins Guest 44:24

Well, what I love about what you just said of what is the question that’s actually how I coach pretty much all of my clients or all the folks I work with on GA4 of how to think about it is what are the questions that you want to ask your data? Not GA4, what are the questions you want to ask your data? And if we can unpack that, it’s very easy to set up structure. It’s when you go in and you don’t know what you want to ask, that’s where you’ll get into trouble.


And there is a really nifty feature that you could actually ask questions to GA4 and it will serve up what it best thinks it can. For example, if you were to ask the question how many of my conversions came from mobile users or how many conversions came from phone calls, it’ll actually give you a report of your mobile users. It might get you your phone calls and that’s pretty cool because that used to be you digging through your reports. Now you can just ask the question and GA4 will answer you. It might not have the answer. You might need to flesh it out a little bit more. That is a really useful feature.

Danny Gavin Host 45:29

So, Navah, I know you’ve been a proponent for BroadMatch for a while. Recently, you and Optimizer put together an amazing study about the difference between BroadMatch and ExactMatch, as well as optimizing on maximized conversions or maximized conversion value, and I’d love if we could dig into that a little bit deeper today.

Navah Hopkins Guest 45:47

For sure An important disclaimer this is just as much a case study in being okay, being wrong and pivoting off of the data as it is a case study on match types and bidding strategies. So a little bit of context I have defended BroadMatch for a very, very long time and I truly believe that there is value, even after this study. If BroadMatch is doing its job and you give it its very specific job, it can still do beautiful things. So here we as marketers particularly those of us that maybe have had the volume of many accounts or high spending accounts have maybe given BroadMatch a little bit too much credit, because what we actually found is that when BroadMatch and ExactMatch are compared, exact match not only wins when it comes to cost per acquisition, cost per click, conversion rate, all these things, but you don’t actually lose any of the conversion volume that you would expect to lose when comparing BroadMatch to ExactMatch. Part of why that bit was so impactful for me is that, as a pragmatist, I kind of just went along with it. I mean, broad match is where it’s going, we kind of just have to deal with it, but when, in looking at the actual data and seeing it play out in accounts that’s using both Broad and Exact. It’s really hard to stand by the. Yes, we should really lean into BroadMatch when we see how much value is in Exact and some of the data points and kind of arguments I would use for BroadMatch were actually completely countered. So one of them is BroadMatch is the cheaper way of getting phrased in Exact. Exactmatch actually had a substantially cheaper cost per click.


Another thing that was one of my big lean into BroadMatch. It’s going to be great is with Close Variance you’re able to get kind of these new and exciting ways of searching. You’re able to kind of really unpack these things. But when looking at ExactMatch, looking at the rise of Close Variance with Exact, you’re going to get the same benefit of Close Variant. You’re just not dealing with the grab back of Broad. So this is not to say to uproot what is working currently in your account. If you’re seeing conversions, if you’re seeing a good cost per position, if you’re seeing all those things, that’s great. But absolutely if you’re considering whether to pause your successful keyword concepts in favor of BroadMatch, I would exercise a little bit of caution. What I will say in relation to BroadMatch, exactly every single account where ExactMatch did better, broadmatch was present. So there is a place for BroadMatch. We just don’t want it to be the dominant force.

Danny Gavin Host 48:30

I feel like it’s earth shattering in a way, because you’re holding onto a concept for so long and then suddenly it’s uprooted. So would you say, are you excited or are you in a way, a little sad by the findings?

Navah Hopkins Guest 48:45

So I actually love getting a taste of my own medicine that I dished out when people were clinging to a single keyword ad group in SCAG and we did a whole study back in my WordStream days that pretty conclusively proved that SCAG structure is going to lose more often than it’s going to win, like it still would win occasionally, but the data is pointed to it being fine. So I actually really loved it because A it made me confirm that to myself like it was a good discovery moment to myself that I am still capable of owning when I’m wrong and I can let data define things like I haven’t gone to that point where I’m so tied to what I think I know is correct that I’ll ignore data. So that was a very useful point for me to be like I’m still a functional marketer. But the other thing that was actually really really meaningful is that it allows us and this is a little bit of a shameless plug for Optimizer, but it allows us to think about how do we build, what kind of tools will our customers best benefit from? Does it make sense for us to build towards broad match heavy structures? Does it make sense for us to build towards exact match heavy structures and the answer is a little bit more on the exact side. But the other thing I did want to bring up is the bidding strategies, because I think the bidding strategies we were actually torn when we were putting this together this is a little bit of a content like feeling back the onion of it. We were torn on whether to split the study, whether to put together, and we aired on the side of keeping it together because of how closely tied smart bidding is to match types in specifically broad match.


And what I actually found kind of interesting, and I think everyone needs to pay attention to, is that the max conversion value actually did better cost per acquisition wise and cost per click wise, and that completely shattered my expectation of what was going to happen. Because we’re taught that if you tell Google I want this ROAS or I want these customers, we kind of buy into this idea that okay, we’re going to get a higher cost per acquisition but we’ll get a better ROAS off of it. It’s okay if one is a little bit high because we’re getting a higher ROAS, or it’s okay if our cost per click goes up a little bit because we’re getting what we need. We’re, in fact, the fact that max conversion value actually had the better cost per click and the better cost per acquisition, regardless of whether it was a high spending account or a low spending account. That kind of gives blessing to okay.


You don’t have to accept it. It’s a structure issue. This is an optimization issue. We can actually solve for this and we don’t have to just eat expensive leads or eat expensive clips. We can actually move towards that greater good. So it was pretty exciting for me.

Danny Gavin Host 51:36

So I’ve got two questions. We’ll go in order. So the first one is Google’s been touting for a long time about switching to Broad Match and I feel like they’ve given us a lot of time to do it. So now you do this study and it’s like, yeah, sometimes it works well, but overall, Exact is winning. Do you feel like when Google hears this study, it’s like, oh, we got to fix this up. Would you be pushed to do this study again in two years from now? Or do you feel like they’ve had a chance and now it’s like it just is what it is. It’s not as the way that they’ve said it.

Navah Hopkins Guest 52:11

I don’t think it’s reasonable or responsible for any group that put studies out to do one-in-one studies. So it is. In fact, if you set yourself up to do one-in-one studies, I mean you might as well make an art piece Because it’s a beautiful piece on the wall. We look at it, we ogle it, it’s so pretty, but then it’s going to fade away into the background. So it’s actually funny. I was talking to our data team like I want to do this again, looking at Q4. Because we looked at the data for Q1 of this year.


So I think it would be really useful for us to look at it and have a Q4. So no promises that it will happen, but that’s what I’m pushing for is the next data set. But, yes, I think it is critical that we are constantly checking our data and, to be fair, this data set looked at global accounts that were running both. I am confident that in accounts that are just broad, broad match is going to do beautifully, because that’s all that there is in the account. There’s a certain degree of yes, the data says this, but you also have to be pragmatic about what’s working in your account.


I remember looking at an account and this is a little bit different than broad match, but it’s applicable when I and the practitioner who is inheriting the account, both of the conversions were like this is broken. This is terrible. This is horrible, but because of how long the account had been running in that way, it would actually hurt the account to bring it in line with best practices. So there’s always going to be a certain degree of pragmatism that you need to exercise. When do I shift to what I am being told is best practice and is the timing correct? So I would argue for most brands right now. This is not the time to make a major shift in structure. This is the time to player and to assess and to see what’s going on. And do I want to make any changes?

Danny Gavin Host 54:08

Now I don’t remember if the study covered this, but when it comes to automatic bidding strategies, does the study push at all where it’s like? Even in an automatic bidding scenario, maybe one should push exact match more.

Navah Hopkins Guest 54:21

We checked and smart bidding did not say broad match, it was, unfortunately, the big team audiences couldn’t save it. Smart bidding couldn’t save it. It truly looked and I pushed for us to look for every possible out that broad match could have. It’s even to the point that I was challenged and correctly so of was I looking for an outcome in the data and that’s why I led with. I am really proud of myself that I was able to own being wrong, as opposed to pushing the data to meet what I wanted to say, because there’s a lot of times when you’ll see data come out and it is.


You don’t agree with what it’s saying, but it falls in line with a certain narrative that you’re used to hearing. It’s not always useful to engage with that conversation because, at the end of the day, if someone is seeing something working for them and they’re going to pull data that keeps amplifying that, you’re not going to change that person’s mind because they will pull fine data that substantiates what they’re going to say. They’ll find that answer. It’s far more useful to have conversations, and in true conversations, as opposed to just talking at people with folks who are willing to engage with all sides of the discussion and I’m not going to make this political. It’s not political, but I actually think it’s a really good metaphor for general discourse that you want to make sure that you can always keep the door open to every bit of discussion. There is no right or wrong answer for every single account. There is just paths that we follow and the data that dictates why you haven’t been following a path in a certain time.

Danny Gavin Host 56:10

Now not directly related, but does this change your view at all on performance max or how people should look at performance max campaigns?

Navah Hopkins Guest 56:17

So, interestingly enough, I firmly believe that performance max needs to be part of every account and I would actually argue and I think I’d need this point in the post that your broad match budget, your broad match budget, would be very well suited. Going to performance max and what’s actually very interesting about performance max, with how much more data they’re sharing, is that you can now start to get a sense of what your exact match terms or concepts are off of your performance max campaigns. And if you are uncertain and you’re still not sure about performance max, try running without it for this quarter just to see how you do. And then there are actually a lot of benchmarking tools that will let you see how you’re performing against your competitors, and you can even look at your own internal data. If you feel like you are still in a perfectly viable place, then that’s totally fine.


But I have a feeling that what you’ll see is that you’re a little bit down on performance, and it’s not because your standard campaigns or your traditional campaigns aren’t beautiful and wonderful and doing great.


It’s just that there are certain placements that you will be depriving yourself of and there are certain kind of I don’t want to call it preferential treatment because it’s not stated In fact it’s actually the opposite that standard will get the preferential treatment, but you’re not kind of leaning into Google’s toys.


So I feel like you will and this is again a feeling. It’s not I know this conclusively but I feel like you will see worse results, not including performance max, but to that point, whenever we’ve tried to just run performance max, we see those performance max campaigns suffer. So there is a place for performance max and traditional campaigns and I actually am really excited for the day when we just run performance max campaigns and we don’t have to have a budget for traditional, standard campaigns. Not because I don’t love traditional standard campaigns they’re wonderful, they’re what we built ourselves towards Because I don’t think the average business should mean to, or is going to be able to, at scale, have a budget for performance max and traditional. You typically have your PPC budget and you shouldn’t have to have double, triple campaign budgets.

Danny Gavin Host 58:34

What you’re saying about performance max. Do you feel like it’s the same for lead gen businesses or lead gen accounts at the same as Ecom?

Navah Hopkins Guest 58:41

So this is where I think you are going to get so many different opinions and I really want to preface this. This is my opinion based off of what I’ve seen. Everyone is going to have a different opinion. I believe performance max works as well as it possibly can, provided that you give it the customer values for your conversions. The moment you do, you will see beautiful results.


If you deprive Google of your conversion values or in max conversion value bidding, you are going to see worse performance with performance max because it’s oriented around revenue. That is the main driving force of that campaign type and part of the reason why it’s so powerful is that it’s able to look at the full funnel. It’s looking at display, it’s looking at YouTube, it’s looking at now like demand gen type campaigns. It’s looking at search shopping. It’s looking at all of these things. So I definitely think that there’s value in performance max by 100%. I don’t think you can get away with running a campaign without performance max, unless you are so niche that there isn’t enough data or there aren’t enough competitors that you can just get away with running standard. But for most people, you will need to have performance max in your arsenal.

Danny Gavin Host 59:58

Final question: Do you like to remove branded terms from performance max campaigns or not?

Navah Hopkins Guest 01:00:03

I personally will remove the branded terms. I don’t think it’s reasonable to average branded into performance max, but there’s actually a really useful distinction on new customers versus new visitors. If you are looking at new visitors, that is going to be the true mark. Just excluding new customers, you might still end up with people who have been exposed before or have engaged. So you definitely and thank you to Kirk Williams for that little shout out I definitely recommend looking at your new visitors and doing your best to exclude them, but I also think you will do very well. This is one of those times where it does make sense to engage with the Google reps. Ask them to remove your branded terms. Use the branded terms exclusion for the broad mesh campaigns. If you’re using that, yes, keep them separated. And, on the flip side, make sure that your branded terms are negatives in your traditional campaigns, because that negative protection is actually very, very powerful. You don’t just want to rely on audience exclusions or pressing a button. You actually want to go ahead and, where possible, out of these negatives.

Danny Gavin Host 01:01:13

And just to clarify. So, just like you were recommending to exclude branded terms, also you want to exclude previous visitors because you don’t want this to turn into a retargeting campaign.

Navah Hopkins Guest 01:01:25


Danny Gavin Host 01:01:25

Yeah, All right, it’s time for our lightning round. As people know well, now they should know that you are a big gamer. Love to know your top three moments in Boulder’s Gate.

Navah Hopkins Guest 01:01:36

That’s terrible. I’m going to spoil stuff.

Danny Gavin Host 01:01:41

We’re going to put a spoiler, all right, so there’s going to be a big spoiler alert. There will be a spoiler alert.

Navah Hopkins Guest 01:01:45

There’s a time you can pause it, you can mute me like a spoiler alert, all right. So moment number one is there is a poisoner or poison potion person that you meet in Moonrise Towers and she really wants your companion, a starian, to drink her blood. And he tells you I don’t want to do it, I really don’t want to do it, there’s something foul. And you have the choice. You can either say, suck it up, buttercup, get drinking because I want what she has, or you can own and respect his agency and say, if you don’t want to do it, I’m not going to make you. And he looks at you and says thank you. And then later in camp he tells you I’m so used to having to use my body to lure or pray for my master. I never had a choice. I was always compelled and forced to do all these terrible things and you didn’t. And thank you. I’m grateful that you let me own my agency and that was one of the most powerful moments of consent in agency I’ve ever seen. And a lot of people when they look at a starian, they just see the kind of flippant, ridiculous, evil, aligned character and underneath is very much a Heathcliff. For those of you that read Weather and Kites, someone who was dragged through the dirt, but there is still good in there. I’m not going to spoil everything about that because I want you all to play it, but that moment of consent was really, really powerful. The next, really really like whoa, whoa moment this is definitely a spoiler, so if you care, please shut your ears. In Act 3, you are given a mission to go fight a dragon and the dragon turns out to be the friend of either the dream visitor, and the dream visitor who I’m not going to say who it is or what’s going on there ends it up killing the dragon. But that dream visitor was also a hero once and you kind of uncover wow, like I could like the parallels between you and this dream visitor and like at what point would I ever cross the line and kill my friend? Because they clearly were very good friends and it was very, very impactful. The final moment that I’m going to land on and this is tough because I already I can’t reveal everything with the historian stuff, but that’s a lot of where I’m an historian and girl 100% Was raised orthodox, but I since become much more just a spiritual perspective.


I don’t really practice and it was very meaningful for me seeing both Shadowheart and Lazelle, who are very much, were raised orthodox, like they were very much ingrained in their respective doctrines and confronted with really meaningful data that made them question how much of me following my doctrine versus how much of me following my heart and what my mind and the data that is in front of me, what that says like. How do I reconcile that? And this is not to say that Judaism is bad. I actually love the core tones of Judaism, which is you seek knowledge, you do good things for each other. It’s entirely up to you and your choices what happens. But just to sum up that Baldur’s Gate is a master class in consent. That Baldur’s Gate really makes you evaluate where your personal boundaries are and when, what you do with your friends, and exploring how the mind either clings to or can break free from orthodoxy while still retaining the core of who you are. It’s a really good game.

Danny Gavin Host 01:05:44

Wow, see, I was expecting something totally different, but it basically you took something and took out the points that relate to you and, yeah, that speak to you and how one can learn from it, and I love that. So, as we wrap up Navha, what’s your next big project? What’s coming up?

Navah Hopkins Guest 01:06:09

So I am definitely getting ready for my world tour. I’m going to be speaking at Pubcon, Austin, speaking at the Brighton SEO in the US and San Diego, we’ll be at International Search Summit in Barcelona and then also Search Marketing Summit in Sydney, and next year we’ll be at SMX Advanced in Munich. So all that is to say, I am hard at work putting together lots of fun data sets, putting together lots of really fun content, but then also Optimizer is launching our Optizer social offering. So I am hard at work thinking about lots of fun social bits of content and empowerment there. So, between those two families of work, I’m definitely in content, content, content mode.

Danny Gavin Host 01:07:04

And having your own clients and family and dogs. It’s amazing that you’re able to accomplish everything.

Navah Hopkins Guest 01:07:09

I’m going to play Baldur’s Gate 3.

Danny Gavin Host 01:07:11

Yes, and Baldur’s Gate 3.

Navah Hopkins Guest 01:07:13

That made up so much time.

Danny Gavin Host 01:07:15

Love it.

Navah Hopkins Guest 01:07:16

We still did the work. I just didn’t sleep.

Danny Gavin Host 01:07:19

I can relate. Where can listeners learn more about you and your business?

Navah Hopkins Guest 01:07:24

Sure. So you can find me on LinkedIn. You can find me on Twitter now X. You can find me on Threads. You can find me on Facebook. I have a site If you want to get in touch on collaborating on projects now thehopkinscom. Paster is my home. I can always check us out at PPC Town Hall. I do the monthly column for Search and Journal. Ask the PPC and then I also will contribute to Search and Generation Land and just other publications. So if you have a question, if you need help, definitely feel free. Oh, I am also fairly active on the PASTER Association in Foxwell Founders Slack Groups and PPC Chats Slack Group.

Danny Gavin Host 01:08:03

So, in short, in the world of digital marketing, wherever you turn, Navah’s there to help and she’s been amazing, wow. So thank you so much for being a guest on the Digital Marketing Mentor. We’ve covered so many awesome topics, from mentorship to life to PPC. This is so rich. Thank you for coming, Navah, and thank you, listeners, for tuning in to the Digital Marketing Mentor. We’ll speak with you next time. Thank you for listening to the Digital Marketing Mentor podcast. Be sure to check us out online at thedmmentorcom and at thedmmentor on Instagram, and don’t forget to subscribe on Apple Podcasts, spotify or wherever you listen to your podcasts for more marketing mentor magic. See you next time.

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