How PPC & SEO Work Together with Navah Hopkins

C: Joining me on today’s episode of the podcast is someone from America, so it’ll be a different accent from the usual guests and it is Navah Hopkins from WordStream. Thank you, Navah for joining me.

N: Thank you for having me and you got it exactly right. The way I get everyone to say my name correctly is I’m an avid coffee drinker so it’s Java but with an N at the beginning and an H at the end. You got it spot on.

C: Yeah. I would have probably hadn’t if I hadn’t met you before in Portugal. You’ve got one of those names. It’s like Niamh where it’s not like, for me, there are certain names like Siobhán even, and you looked at it and you go, “Is that Siobhán?” Or, you know, “How the hell do I say this?” Or Niamh looks like Niamh, and Navah you just automatically think that can’t possibly just be Navah.

N: So on the subject of names, and I don’t know if you find this, I intentionally when I got married took my husband’s name, Hopkins, instead of Fuchs, because I was tired of having two very difficult names for people to pronounce because when you’re having a conversation with clients, when you’re having a conversation with industry professionals, if you make someone feel awkward because they don’t know what to say, my first name’s already awkward enough, but with the Fuchs spelled F-U-C-H-S, that’s equally awkward. So, it was kind of a no-brainer to transition the brand into Hopkins so that I’d only have one difficult piece.

C: Yeah, I actually noticed that your Twitter handle is still Navah Fuchs, which I would have normally said Fuchs, or Fuchs.

N: Exactly.

C: I’m glad you have actually changed it and do go by the Hopkins, I think it suits you a lot better.

N: What’s funny is I put all of the stress stuff, so, like my certifications, my taxes, my mortgage, all of that goes under Fuchs, but my happiness goes under Hopkins, and so it’s, I can compartmentalize my life in a really productive way.

C: But yeah, names are a strange one. I’ve had a few guests on here and had their names all over the place, but it’s fun trying to learn them. But I’m getting better at it. I now just see what it looks like and they can’t really blame you for that so-

N: No.

C: Yeah, it’s all good. But on the subject of your name and getting it out and all that stuff, I jokingly said to you when we bumped into each other in Vegas-

N: Pubcon, Vegas, yeah.

Navah Hopkins Speaker

C: … that you were appearing everywhere. And you literally are doing really well for yourself, and as I see you, I met you in Portugal with the SEMrush thing, but earlier on this year, or the middle of this year or whenever it was, and ever since then you’re everywhere I look, every conference, I just keep seeing your face popping up. And obviously we’ve done a webinar I think before and stuff like that but everywhere I look now I just keep seeing oh, Navah’s speaking again. So how’s that all going? Is that a new thing or am I just, now because we’ve met each other, I’m just seeing you everywhere, like how’s that working?

N: So, what’s interesting is I’ve been in the industry since 2008, but I focused a lot of effort on getting the technical skills for my first couple of years. So around 2016 or so, I made a big push to go on the larger speaking circuit. But up until that point, I actually was doing a lot of local conferences, local webinars, and prior to joining WordStream where I currently work, I actually had started a non-profit around connecting students to scholarships and mentors. It, unfortunately, is no longer running, but what that did for me, that experience did for me is build a network that I then could connect and get opportunities for myself in micro-moments and micro-moments built on to larger moments.

N: And so over the past couple of years, I’ve been willing to take maybe smaller engagements or non-paid engagements to build the brand. And now I’m very blessed where I’m in a slot where I actually can share insights learned but then also collect insights. And again very blessed working with WordStream where I get to not only work with our customers, I also get to share those lessons learned externally so it’s kind of the best of both worlds. I get to empower a brand I care a lot about and then I also get to empower myself.

C: It’s interesting that you’ll always tell people that as well. When people, because people always have jokes at, you see, do you ever do any work? You’re always on stage. But what you actually learn when you are speaking is invaluable, you know, just speaking to other people and stuff. I think it’s great to hear that you also feel that it is part of an overall learning curve for yourself as well, so I feel very much the same way. Like giving back but also I’m picking up a lot along the way as well.

N: We have to be selfish. It’s not reasonable to take an engagement if you’re not going to earn or learn or grow. And so, one of the nice things, and I’ve been seeing you pop up quite a bit as well internationally and it’s like every time I see where you’re speaking I’m like, ah, I want to get into that conference. It seems like there are conferences that are really good for learning and there are conferences that are really good for influence.

N: And to your initial question of like how do we get out there, we, unfortunately, I think have to pay our dues and do some influence conferences where maybe you aren’t going to necessarily learn as much, but the publicity is going to be fantastic. And then you do the smaller conferences where you’re not going to necessarily be seen as much but the insights that you get are out of this world because it’s all technicians. And it’s just people that are living, breathing, and accounts that they are sharing what they learn.

Does Working with a Brand Help with Speaking Opportunities

C: Yeah. I think there’s a process to it. You can never just walk into these positions. But one question I was going to ask, does working with a brand like WordStream open doors easier for you or is it still quite difficult because you are a person that’s speaking?

N: So it depends. I find that WordStream and working with WordStream, the WordStream brand when you think of it is a data brand. So people take my datasets far more seriously because of the width and breadth of the datasets that I have to work with because of the credibility of the company, but there is also a degree that WordStream as a brand represents beginner content, and so I actually sometimes find that and this is not a knock against WordStream, it’s like WordStream intentionally goes after SMBs and looks to empower them and the agency that serves them.

N: But WordStream is seen as a beginner, and so I find that I sometimes have to prove that, and maybe overcompensate, that I’m actually a clever practitioner and I actually know what I’m doing as opposed to a kind of a beginner practitioner. So it’s yes, it has 100% empowered me and opened doors for me, but it also very much has made me almost overcompensate for the level of content that I bring if that makes sense.

C: No, perfect sense, perfect sense. I think when you’re doing these kinds of things it’s all good and well WordStream opening up doors for you, but you’ve then got to deliver if you want to be seen again.

N: Exactly.

C: So any person could probably get a door open for them to go on that stage but if they’re going to be up there being a quivering wreck and deliver-

N: Mediocre content.

C: … then you’re going to be in, you know, serious trouble. And it’s obviously a pointless exercise if you’ve got a lack of ability on stage. It’s not as easy as it looks. I know that when people look at the photographs and stuff they go, “Okay, anyone could do that,” but it’s a lot of stuff that goes into it, including making slides and it’s obviously still nerve-wracking as well.

N: They can be, but what’s interesting is I’ve actually put a lot of effort over the past two years in growing the pool of thought leaders within WordStream. And what’s fascinating to me is that there are some people that I get to try it and they realize they hate it. There are other people that they get the bug and they just go after it with abandon. And so, one of the things that I think really is the “tell” of whether someone is going to be a presenter versus a behind-the-scenes dataset creator or practitioner is whether they actually enjoy getting the “credit” for the work that they do or whether they prefer to just keep their heads down and keep learning and they don’t actually care about the credit.

N: I will put my hand up and say I am, well, so I jokingly refer to myself as a border collie, like I love tasks, I love getting things done like I’m a super high energy person. I don’t know if you noticed, but I also like pats on the head. Like I like engineering pats on the head for myself. And what I find is that those that are going to go chase thought leadership opportunities at least internally within WordStream enjoy the pats on the head, and they are willing to put in the extra work, they’re willing to craft those presentations, they’re willing to really invest, not just the intelligence in terms of work, but also the emotional intelligence in terms of charisma and whatnot.

N: They have to have that mentality because otherwise, it’s exhausting. Like it genuinely is exhausting to be on for a full conference. I know you mentioned at the beginning we were, we kind of hung out at Pubcon Vegas. That entire week I was exhausted because I was always on. I did the Masters, and that was a draining experience. I would do it 100 times over again, but it’s exhausting, and so to find people that have not just the intelligence to create good datasets, but also the drive to go and present them is tough.

C: It’s not even that as well. On top of what you’re doing in terms of presentations and stuff, what I find quite exhausting is when you come off a stage and then you’ve got loads of people that want to talk to you and you have to-

N: See that’s my favourite part.

C: It’s fun but do you not find that some people, like they just over, they suck up too much of your time and it’s like a dream. I think that part really, like I like talking to people and talking sense to people but there are certain people that come up to you and can’t just accept a quick answer. They want to dive deeper into things and you’re trying to get away and you’re like, you know. I find that part quite draining, but that’s just me, personally.

N: I don’t know. I’m very giving of my time because I like helping people. That part doesn’t bother me. The part that bothers me is when someone goes on an ego trip and asks a “question” that’s really meant to inflate their own persona, or challenges you just for attention, but doesn’t actually want to have a conversation later. I was at a conference in Australia and these two gents in the back started heckling me in the middle of my presentation, just saying that they didn’t believe that it could work, they didn’t think it could work. And so when I went up to them afterwards in private to actually have the conversation and dive into the data, they didn’t want to have the conversation with me. They just walked away. So I’m 100% happy to have a conversation with someone if they truly want to have a conversation, but I have zero tolerance for is ego hounds and just being destructive for the sake of kind of an ego boost or a relevance boost.

Ego Hounds Speaking on Stage

C: Yeah, ego hounds are the best way to put it. That’s a good name for them. Again, had a few of that myself, and when you stand on stage there’s always someone wanting to stick one on you and make you look stupid or whatever, you know, whatever it may be, or make themselves look good. But yeah, had that a few times myself. It can be frustrating but I suppose it’s a bit of a compliment if, as well, you know, people are trying to take you down, you must be doing something right so.

C: But this game’s a matter of opinions and no one has all the answers anyway and you’re certainly entitled to your opinion given that you work with large sets of data and probably have more insights than most, you know when it comes to debates and stuff.

Using data to benefit PPC & SEO

N: That’s something that I consider myself very blessed in, is that I not only get access to datasets, I get access to hundreds, thousands, of individual businesses and agencies and how they function and how they think, and when a strategy will work and when it won’t so the kind of kiss of death in PPC is when you assume that the strategy that worked five, 10 years ago is going to work indefinitely and so where a lot of folks I feel have been very stressed in PPC right now is that their tactics that they kind of held to, clung to, are now not relevant anymore with the increase in automation, with the increase in more of a focus on strategy and creative, and less a focus on kind of granular manual work.

N: And so as they’re kind of fighting for relevancy, they have to learn again, and if you turn off that learning mindset too soon in your career, which is silly, you should, like, in any digital marketing platform, you should always be learning, but if you turn it off early, it’s really hard to get back into it. So I think the people that are “haters” are the ones that just don’t know how to adapt and they’re going to become irrelevant. And so we’ll just have a whole bunch of really happy learning, ever-growing practitioners and everyone else will just fade off into the distance.

C: That’s the best way to look at it so. And talking about pay-per-click there so pay-per-click is your thing, and obviously reading up on your profile and having spoken with you before in previous webinars I know that you, I forget this creator, can’t remember if I’m 100% accurate, but you were an SEO who then went anti-pay-per-click. Is that right?

Navah Started as an SEO and then Moved onto PPC

N: Yeah. So I actually got my start in Directory SEO, which is the worst kind of SEO ever, which is probably why I got out of SEO because I thought that all SEO was that bad. So what happened is I worked right around the time of Panda and Penguin, the very first iterations of them connecting sites to this like directory scheme and I didn’t realize how bad it was until I spent a little bit more time in that company.

N: And when I realized the ethics and the damage that my working on that was doing, I was like, I’m done, I’m going to go. So I took the money I made working there, started the non-profit as well as a side agency where I freelance did pay-per-click because I had got my certifications while I was still in school and just kind of did some freelance work.

N: But then I kind of hit this burnout point because between my non-profit not doing well because I was running out of money and kind of doing it all by myself, not fully by myself, my husband and I actually tag-teamed it. He was my levelly at the time, now my husband. And then I needed a job to recover from how mentally emotionally exhausted I was by running this non-profit and this freelance agency at the same time, which I do not recommend unless you have the financial backing to do it. So I stumbled into WordStream after actually taking a year of working as a nanny of all things because I needed like truly just to detox myself.

Can SEO’s and PPC experts work together?

N: And in working at WordStream what I was able to do was have a job that I knew I could do. It was super easy, and recharge in myself the innovator, the entrepreneur, so my pay-per-click journey allowed me to touch on paid search, yes, but also paid social, a little bit of display work, more recently YouTube. But where the SEO kind of empathy comes from is that I never gave up my curiosity in SEO. I just knew I didn’t want to actively dedicate my life to it. So yeah, where I find a lot of paid folks struggle to get their heads wrapped around SEO because it seems like it’s far more technical than they’re used to, all the tools that are currently in paid are approaching the level of technical chops that you need on the SEO side. So a paid practitioner and an SEO practitioner should be working together.

N: They shouldn’t be siloed. Particularly because, and this is actually, I’ll give a shout-out to Jori Ford, she’s over at G2 Crowd. She made this amazing point. This is just like one little nugget if you want an actual nugget, with quality score, how quality score is relevancy, literally the landing page all relevancy is determined is actually by the Google ad crawl bot and SEOs will unintentionally, to help with load time, kill that bot so the paid folks are seeing their quality scores drop, and so, one little thing you can do is just make sure that the pages that paid folks are driving leads to, allow that bot to be there. And it’s a simple little thing, but can really unlock that much more potential. I realize that was like a winding tangent random idea, but I wanted to make sure that I got at least one actual nugget into this and credit appropriately.

C: Yeah, no, it’s interesting and obviously any nugget is good for anyone listening but it’s certainly one of those nuggets that you wouldn’t think of just off the bat. You would obviously need to have that experience to think about that logically and stuff like that. But if you see a lot of what goes on, and I don’t know if it’s still as frequent but as you see, a lot of people, like SEO guys, will hate pay-per-click guys and vice versa and they fight against each other with clients to try and shove each other out the way and stuff like that. I certainly know I’ve done it in the past with a pay-per-click guy who tried to get more budget from a client. And I’ve come in, muscled them and just mocked pay-per-click if you like so that I could get the budget, which obviously business is business, but the reality of it is they both work very well together and that’s something that we do want to talk about.

SEO and PPC Methods are similar

C: And they’re obviously very like-for-like as well in terms of keyword research and everything else. And obviously pay-per-click still take up, well pay-per-click have taken up a hell of a lot more of the landscape than organic setups so you have to have the balance right. And obviously Google are trying to, and Mac, I mean force pay-per-click on people anyway as it’s one of the biggest revenue streams.

N: Also what’s interesting with brands that struggle, you could do a very easy test to say what is truly organic traffic versus what is paid traffic. In analytics, you can take a segment like organic traffic, port it over into Google ads as an audience and just exclude that audience from your pay-per-click. So if you wanted to see like how much was organic inflating your pay-per-click revenues or how much was pay-per-click kind of stealing traffic, 100% you could do that. What’s also interesting with audiences, and this is really where I feel organic and paid should be working together, not every business it makes sense to focus on Google Search. Google Search is expensive. You might want to do Facebook. You might want to do Display. You might want to do Microsoft or Bing, and what’s interesting is that if you have your targets in place, your pixels in place, you can actually blitz the market so that your organic is prepared to pick up kind of the transactional search where maybe your display or you’re social pave the way.

N: So when we talk about pay-per-click it’s not just about search, it really truly is thinking about the social engagements and how we create conversations. It’s about educating folks. So one of actually the campaigns that I love to run particularly when organic is strong is an educational campaign via YouTube where you actually target the market to grow the available prospects that you could have. And with YouTube, depending on the ad type you choose, so long as the user skips before either the 15 or 30-second mark, you’re not going to pay for that click, so it can be a very educational piece to blitz the market, get the brand in peoples heads. Then organic can come in and win.

N: The other one that I have to give the shout-out to, it’s one of my unequivocal favourites, particularly in thinking about audiences, is dynamic search ads, which specifically revolve around how well a site can be crawled. And so you actually target instead of keywords, you target sections of the site so that you can cover hundreds, thousands of landing pages without having to invest a substantial budget. But what’s nice about it is that you can actually layer on in-market signals, say I’m in-market for hotels in Bologna, because I’m going to be going to a conference there in April and I’m going to take my husband with me and we’re going to go have a little Italian adventure and I’m very excited about it.

N: So I have because I’ve been researching it and going to sites and kind of going to look at hotels, looking at what day trips to do, I have been tagged as in-market for that sort of endeavour. So layering on that on top of a dynamic search ad campaign specifically focused around hotels, specifically focused around travel gear, whatever, is a really powerful way to pre-qualify traffic so before you invest, you’re actually getting the best bang for your buck without having the waste. Like someone else has spent the money to pre-qualify them for you if that makes sense.

C: Yeah, no, makes perfect sense. I think when you do talk about all of this stuff, it does make sense when you see it. The problem for the majority of people including myself because I’m not a paid ad specialist as such, but obviously you’re working with, you’re doing paid ads day-in-day-out. You have access to all of that data day-in-day-out, and you’re at a strong advantage. I mean for others out here who are looking to learn about paid search other than coming to conferences and listening to people like yourself who have got a lot to say on the matter, is there online courses that you feel are going to help people or do you have an online course or how-

N: Yep, so I’m going to give a shout-out. We just recently formed the Paid Search Association. We actually do a really good job of aggregating courses, blogs, resources that we believe in. Paidsearchassociation.org. You can also just do a search for us on LinkedIn, on Facebook, on Twitter. I also have to give a shout-out to WordStream’s blogs. We put a ton of resources and effort into making sure that not only are people excited about our product and working with us as both the software and the agency but that also people are informed to go do themselves. We care a lot that you know what you’re doing. I also strongly recommend, strongly, go through, because it costs you absolutely zero dollars to do it, the resources for Google Ads Academy and for Microsoft Ads Academy because what’s useful about that is it’s not necessarily you should drink the Kool-Aid party line, go do everything that they say, but they make an effort to show you via video, via article, what you need to do.

N: And what’s actually really nice is that once you get fully certified, and this is actually why I turned to certification when I was in school, they’ll actually refer you and include you in a directory of practitioners if someone’s looking for a paid person. In terms of where to do audiences ready to do DSA, it’s actually really funny. Steve Hammer and I just did a master class at Pubcon that kind of walked through the steps. If it’s interesting to you, I’m happy to send you a couple of blog posts that talk specifically about audiences and dynamic search ads to go along with this podcast. But yeah, there’s Search Engine Journal’s great, Search Engine Land is great, but the best thing that you can do is actually to set up an account that you never actually fund and just go play in the interface. It costs you zero dollars to set up an ad account.

Best Place to learn PPC

N: And people ask me all the time, “How did you learn this? Like who taught you?” And there are absolutely people who mentored me, but the core of how most of us that is, we’ll say confident, got our jobs are by cutting our teeth in the platform and just finding things and figuring it out. And I highly recommend anyone who’s interested in paid, whether it’s paid search, paid social, paid display, paid video, just sign up for the account and go play. It costs you zero dollars to do.

C: Interesting. No, I was just curious. As I say, people like you who breathe it, it’s the same as SEO for me, you know, you just find those little gaps where you can play, you know, just a little, not loopholes as such, but just little intricate details that make all the difference. Now another question I’ve got for you is obviously pay-per-click stands for, pay-per-click means often just associated with AdWords for a lot of people.

C: And I know you work for WordStream and you don’t do it as a client service as such, or maybe you do. I might be wrong with that assumption, but where does pay-per-click stop? The general pay-per-click people, does that also include things like paid core ads, paid Facebook ads?

N: So pay-per-click means pay-per-click. So there’s two, well actually there’s three, take that back, there are four main means of payment. So pay-per-click is you set a bid of what you are happy to pay, and you pay every time the user clicks the ad, not every time the user sees the ad. This is in sharp contrast with a CPM or cost per mille model, which means that for every thousand impressions you pay for that engagement. There’s also a cost per view, so think YouTube, TikTok, so on and so forth. Then there’s also cost per lead formats. So Google rolled out a couple of years ago something called Local Search Ads, not Local Search Ads, Local Service Ads. I always mix those up.

Local Service Ads

N: And what’s nice about Local Service Ads is that you tell Google how much you want to pay per lead, and it will serve your business, and they’re all local businesses, to a user either searching online through their phone, through their voice assistant, and those are all governed in terms of how they rank, not just by what you say that you’re willing to pay per lead but also how well you’re reviewed. And it’s a very, very stringent background check to get those approved.

N: The other one that’s the cost per lead is actually on smart display, which can be amazing if you have the budget to get the data that you need. The kind of devil’s bargain with smart campaigns is that they need a lot of data so you have to invest aggressively to teach the machine. But once you have that learning they really do perform well, sometimes outperforming humans if the human is average.

N: And what’s nice about cost per lead on the display side is that you tell Google I want to pay $5 per person to sign up for my webinar so that I can nurture them because you figured out that based off of your conversion rates, based off of how much you make per customer, based off of your sale cycle, that someone watching this webinar is worth $5 to you, you can hand that desired cost per lead number to Google and they’ll do that. But when you think about pay-per-click, you got to think about LinkedIn, you got to think about Microsoft, you got to think about Facebook, Instagram. YouTube has it to a degree with the shopping components, but yeah, pay-per-click, and when I say, I like, I used to refer to myself as an SEM or a Search Engine Marketer. PPC is far more encompassing.

C: Yeah, I think it’s, a lot of people as I see categorize you as just the AdWords person whereas you are, you know a lot of people, even as an SEO, most, a lot of SEOs are actually just marketers. They kind of talk about SEO a lot and stuff but everything that we’re doing is more generalized I think, and you have to generalize it and be a bit broader to be able to make things work. You can’t just focus on one element.

N: I had a really impactful conversation with Susan Winograd actually about this, about how a lot of practitioners are doing commoditized disciplines and that that’s the kiss of death for their relevancy and their ability to have longterm profit. And what I will say, and this is me, Navah Hopkins, personal perspective, it’s not necessarily WordStream’s perspective, when it comes to small businesses, the need for say, a website, the need for a full-blown marketing plan, the ad networks are making a play to try to absorb that need, and basically saying small business, give me your money and we’ll make leads happen.

N: And there are businesses out there where that will make sense because they don’t have the time to worry about it, where I think there is still a play for SMB, whether it’s a tool like WordStream, whether it’s agencies that serve them, is in how we help those SMBs make the most of their time and unlock that much more potential in their budget where this “Smart Solutions” from Native, they’re going to provide some value but there’s always going to be some waste in there.

N: And so where we can come in and provide value is in understanding all facets of their business, not just actually managing their account, but also what are their sale cycles like? Is it potentially useful for us to invest aggressively on one part of the business instead of all parts of the business? And so as we’re kind of thinking about how we position ourselves, how we build our offerings, how we pitch clients, we have to not just think about what technical skills do we have, but how are we differentiating ourselves from everyone else out there and actually empowering the brands that we serve to grow scalable, and not burying them in success as in like driving them all of the leads that they then can’t service and they feel like it’s wasted span.

What PPC Campaigns do you work on?

C: Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. One other thing that I did want to talk about in terms of you and what you actually work on, obviously you work for WordStream and your speciality is paid search, but what kind of projects does that mean that you work on? Does it mean you just do WordStream stuff or, you know, how does, what is it you actually do? Do you work for clients as well?

N: Yep.

N: Sure. So my title, Services Innovation Strategist was a role I created for myself about three years ago within WordStream after I kind of ran through the ranks of account management. I still have a personal book of business, but my core job is actually working across the entire book of business, our international SMEs and agencies that serve them, identifying accounts that need help, regardless of whether it’s in paid search or paid social so on and so forth. Giving them a very specific action plan, here’s how to solve that. But then I also take those lessons back to our product team, to our customer success organization and share those insights with our ad network partners about where are people getting stuck, like where can we proactively help people.

N: And so part of my job is doing account work, helping clients, client-facing. Part of my work is gaining intel. The other part is actually creating training modules and helping grow our internal team so that we can all consult well, empower people well, so on and so forth. So when you ask about projects, sometimes I’m working on super high-value clients, sometimes I’m working on agency-specific projects, I’m piloting out services, sometimes I’m working on let’s go make Bing or Microsoft a happily celebrated citizen. It depends.

C: I was just curious to know the background and the inner workings of what you personally do on a day-to-day basis, whether it was, you know, just for the WordStream brand or, you know, you were doing, as you said there, other projects for clients and whatnot. So at least you’re getting a variety, which I think it would be very boring if it was for example, you know, SEMrush, say you were doing it for SEMrush, you were just doing your stuff day-in-day-out, I think you would get very bored very quickly focusing on one brand so it’s good to have that diversity.

N: I don’t know about that. I feel like depending on the brand, you can be set a lot of tasks because I do all of those tasks for WordStream so it depends on the brand. What I will say is that the speaking engagements, they didn’t used to be an official part of my job. Over time, I just kept doing them on my free time and it kind of just naturally organically became part of my job here. So it’s, I pick up projects and I find things that I think will help people, and I prove out that they should be part of my job, and so that’s kind of how I function.

C: I think sometimes you’ve got to be forceful with it and make it part of your job and show your kind of peers that this is how this is supposed to work so no, I think you’ve obviously done that very well. But it’s remarkable that you also have gone to the lengths of doing it in your own free time. I think that says a lot and ticks a lot of boxes for me with people when you see someone who’s got the dedication to actually spend their own time to not just prove a point or whatever, but obviously just to be better at what you do and whatnot. So I think it’s certainly a good trait to have there as well and obviously that’s why you’re doing so well now. You know, you’re getting the rewards from the hard work and effort.

N: When you asked me to be on this podcast, I didn’t expect it to be a big ego boost, but I appreciate it.

C: No, it’s, what I do is appreciate, I mean, I can understand and look at people probably slightly differently from others who may look at you because I’ve been there, done it, and I can see certain traits within people like doing things in their own time or speak in their own time to better themselves and not just that, you know, it’s not just the ego boost. I’ve had to do it as well and it’s paid off for me and I think that hard work and dedication is what actually makes you either a mediocre marketer or whatever term you want to say that you are.

C: And obviously all of the kind of guys that are at the top end of the game and speaking at all the big events and doing really well for themselves are those ones that just went that extra mile. And I think obviously for the podcast listeners listening, you know, there are people who are at the start of their journey and there are some people who do SEO and just see it as a nine to five job, or not just SEO people-

N: Yeah, you can’t do that. You can’t. Like, this is, if you have a nine to five job, and this is my biggest character flaw, is I’m incapable of a nine to five job, but you cannot treat your work as a nine to five job if you’re going to be in this industry. You have to be so in love with the work or you’re going to get burnt out so fast because, I mean, think about it. Right now, you’re hanging out with me at the end of your day and you still have more things to do on a Friday. That’s insane. I started my day at 6:30 in terms of like getting work done on the train. We live and breathe it because we love it.

C: Yeah, I think you’ve got to have that passion for it if you want to be as successful as, you know, people that we have on this podcast, and as I say, not to massage your ego, I think it’s more importantly, it’s showing people the reality of what you actually do to get to where you are. And a lot of people don’t see that, all the kind of background stuff. And as I say, it ticks a massive box with me when I hear or see people doing that kind of thing. I’m like, yeah. That’s a real person that, you know, someone I’ve got a lot of respect for and for me, I nearly killed myself learning SEO.

C: I was up all night, up to four in the morning reading books and, you know, the wife’s like, “When are you coming to bed?” And, you know, this is crazy. I was doing it while I was in the day job and all that kind of stuff. Thankfully it paid off in the end, but I’ve got, probably similar to you, some weird horrible passion for it. And sometimes randomly on a Sunday I’ll find a new tool or something and I’ll be set in the air like it’s Christmas, you know, testing stuff out or whatever. It’s weird.

N: Working weekends are just, they just like naturally happen. And it’s just, we can’t turn off, and so my commitment for 2020 and I hope you’ll join me in it is that we’ll be kinder to ourselves and our minds and we’ll give ourselves a little bit of a break.

C: I’m always trying that now, I think. It’s taken me a long time. I’ve been in this industry for 17 years. I’ve went through the freelancer stage, built up an agency. Now I’ve got a very small agency and I do a lot of speaking, affiliating, stuff like that. But the reason that I’m on that journey is to try and free up time and relax a bit more and delegate a lot more and I think that’s where you have to be at. It’s getting that balance right because it’s not sustainable too, you know, as you have said, you’ve said burn, the word burnout. You can get burned out very, very quickly if you do not look after yourself, and I think you’ve got to obviously learn the game first, but then you can scale up and delegate and all of that kind of stuff, and use your money wisely and make your money work for you using the skills and experience you’ve picked up along the way, and I think that’s working smart. And using automation and stuff like that as well where possible is all key parts to becoming the best you can be in this industry.

N: Completely agree.

C: But sadly, we are out of time. I’m sure we could sit here and rant for 12 hours about all different things but it was great to have you on talking a bit about your background and how you’ve got to where you are and how you see things with pay-per-click and SEO. I’m sure I would love to have you back on in the future talking about other things so for that we’ll definitely get you back on because I think you talk a lot of sense and I definitely think the viewers will benefit from hearing more about your stuff as we go through the next months and years and whatever else, but for anyone who may be just wants to follow you online or check your stuff out, where’s the best place for people to get a hold of you?

N: So my professional is almost always through my Twitter, so @navahf. You can follow my puppy, HK47, #ppcpuppy on Instagram for paid tips and tricks through the eyes of my dog because who is going to argue with that adorable face? You can also feel free, follow me on LinkedIn, you can check out WordStream, and yeah, I’m just excited to share and learn with everybody.

C: Cool. Well, it’s been a pleasure, Navah. I will put your links to all of your stuff on the show notes because I do a transcription and everything so when it’s published I will put all of that information on there and hopefully you’ll have people following you. I’m sure if they’re wise enough, they will look to your Instagram or wherever your tips and tricks are. So as I say, once again, thank you very much for taking the time to join us.

N: And thank you for having me, Craig. It’s always a pleasure.

C: No worries.

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Craig Campbell

I am a Glasgow based SEO expert who has been doing SEO for 18 years.

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