Lauren Plug, founder of Copy by LP in a blue and white striped sweater sitting on a stool

Well hello there!

I say I do sustainable SEO but in all honesty, I made that phrase up. 

Which seems kind of counterintuitive as an SEO — wouldn’t I want to make sure the thing I’m calling myself is a rankable keyword? Yes… and no. 

Of course I want to use keywords that have a solid amount of traffic and an attainable difficulty to help my ideal clients find me. But I also don’t want to misrepresent my brand or do myself a disservice by forcing myself to use a word that doesn’t make the most sense for me. 

And that right there is what I like to call ethical SEO. 

Typically sustainable and ethical aren’t interchangeable words. They’re usually found at the same party hanging out with each other but they are not synonymous.

But here, on this website, with me, they are. Ethical and sustainable SEO means your SEO works for your sustainable business, it benefits you for years to come, and it does not make you feel like you’re waving goodbye to your morals and values as you speed away.

You know what I mean.

  • There are SEO websites that talk about elevating your brand, improving visibility, and making genuine connections. 
  • While there are also SEO websites that talk about first-page rankings, doubling your traffic, and skyrocketing sales. 

And of the two, which one gives you the heebie jeebies…. Exactly

Why sustainable, ethical SEO is important to me

Something you should know about me is I’m always ‘doing too much’. Take this blog for example, I know that 1,800 words are too much. Trust me, I do. But I also believe that if you’re here to read you’re going to feel like we’re having a conversation — you’re going to understand me. So it’s worth it. 

But here’s the thing, we’ve all encountered our fair share of people who are the ‘planned obsolescence’ of service providers. Their service is okay, but their real goal is to keep you coming back to buy more of their service/learn more from them. Especially in SEO. 

So in order to fully understand why ethical and sustainable SEO is so important to me, we must first talk about my Villain Origin Story AKA how I became an SEO. 

But let me sum up where my beliefs come from:

  • I think you should be involved in your SEO (to an extent). 
  • I think that I should be drawing on your industry and business expertise to leverage my SEO expertise.
  • I think there is no universal magical SEO solution that applies to everyone.
  • I think your situation is different from your competitors, which is different from my previous clients’.
  • I think your small business deserves an SEO strategy and on-page optimizations that are different from a corporate website’s strategy. 

Did you ever watch Will & Grace, the show from the early 2000’s? 

I wasn’t allowed to so I have no idea how I know this, but there was an episode where Grace was going to the gym and figured out that she could clearly see and follow someone else’s personal training session by repeating the workouts in a corner without paying for it. 

She did that until they caught her in a comedic way (ha-ha-ha) and as she was leaving she yelled (something like) “Yeah, well your workouts suck! If anything, my tits are getting smaller and my ass is getting bigger!” And then the trainer yelled back at her “That’s what the workout plan was supposed to do!” 

Cue horrified, look from Grace, laugh track, and Grace getting escorted ungracefully out. 

But that’s a perfect example of SEO! 

You can’t just look at your competitors or brands you admire and copy what they do. First of all, copying is not good. But…

  • You have no idea what’s going on behind the scenes
  • No idea what their goals are
  • No idea about the objectives of this campaign.

If you insist on copying, your tits will get smaller and your ass bigger! Metaphorically speaking of course. 

Cue my SEO Villain Origin Story

My VOS can be broken up into 6 parts. You should know by now I am not short-winded but since it’s kind of all over my website, I’ma keep it kinda short. 

I’m laying this out because I think you can understand. If you’ve ever started looking for someone to help you with SEO or have ever had a bad experience working with someone on your SEO — you’ll probably have experienced all of these things. 

And if you have, send me a message because I want to know even if we don’t work together. 

  1. Quasi-understanding from partial explanations
  2. Researching SEO led me to content creators that gave me the ick

The SEO industry is saturated with ‘educators’, ‘experts’, and very loud voices. But I started to notice a trend in the content I was finding and consuming. 

  • I heard a lot of ‘hacks’
  • I heard a lot of ‘you must do this’
  • I heard a lot of ‘stop doing this and do this instead’ 
  • I heard a lot of fear-mongering
  • And I didn’t get a lot of answers.
  1. Understanding that basic SEO is less hard and more time-consuming 

In my research and conversations, I had always felt stupid or less than when it came to SEO. I had never been spoken to (or watched content) that made me feel like it was something that could even interest me, let alone something I could offer as a service. 

Once I started working on the DUO Course I couldn’t believe what happened — I realized I found SEO interesting! Gasp! Turns out, if boys can do it, I can do it too.

  1. Realizing how little small businesses truly understand or have the capacity to understand

Let me be very clear, there are a variety of levels to SEO. The stuff that Lily Ray and Marie Haynes are doing is stuff I barely understand. 

But what I realized was that the average small business needs ‘basic’ small-business SEO services. They don’t have the capacity to learn this. And many third-party services and agencies are giving… predatory.

  1. Deciding I refused to do business like that

I don’t believe that you should make people do something they don’t want to do, refuse to listen to them, or explain what they are doing in a demeaning way.

  1. Determining that I would be anti-tech bro and everything they represent. 

Tech-bro is what I call the content creators/educators that are plastered across the internet whenever you search something SEO related. 

I’m not here to get a lot of likes and clicks. I’m here to help your business grow — and there are plenty more SEO service providers like me out there. You just have to filter the noise out first. ]

What sustainable ethical SEO looks like at Copy by LP:

  1. Involvement

I need your involvement to make this happen. You know the industry and you know your ideal client. That information is huge in helping me research and choose keywords that are going to align with more of your ideal client. 

  1. Strategy & Goals

Small tits, big butt — we’re not just copying a strategy from a similar business. Together, we’re going to talk about what your goals are and come up with a unique plan using on-page SEO optimization that can get you there. 

  1. Meaningful Traffic

Traffic means nothing unless it’s converting. So it would be pointless for your luxury cabinetry business to target DIY keywords. You might get a lot of traffic but is someone who’s trying to DIY their kitchen suddenly be open to paying luxury prices? Probably not. There’s more to SEO than just keyword volume and difficulty. Ethical SEO is about reaching the right audience — your ideal audience. 

  1. Long-Term Success

As a small business, the SEO optimizations you make now should last you for a long time (until you outgrow them or you add/change your offerings). That means we’re not basing everything on trends but rather on your ideal audience. It’s not always the sexiest but it’s kind of like a diet plan. You can do every fad diet but it’s probably not going to work. But when you make reasonable changes to diet, exercise, and lifestyle — that’s when the change will happen. We’re not going to fad-diet your SEO. 

  1. No monthly requirements

I know I just said no monthly requirements — by that I mean I will not force you to keep me on when our project is done with things like ‘maintenance’ or ‘monthly reporting’. If we want to continue working together on blog content briefs, maybe a copy audit, or anything else — that’s a different story. I do require a commitment of ~6 months because this takes time. It’s going to take time to do the work and we need to give it time to take effect. After that, you’re free! 

The point is – listen to your gut and work with people you enjoy

But this is what it means to me and what it means to work with me.  

You may not know much about SEO but you haven’t gotten to where you are without knowing a thing or two about people. 

I think about all the times in my life I should have walked away or said no or responded in a different way because my gut told me so. But I didn’t trust myself so I’m telling you to do it. 

And secondly, enjoy the people you work with! You’ve created this business or you’ve helped to grow it. You would hire people to work day to day with you that you actually like so do the same with people you contract. 

You shouldn’t be made to feel bad or annoying or stupid when asking for clarification or more details. This is YOUR BUSINESS, you deserve to know what’s happening. 

If this sounds like everything you stand for, schedule a (free) call with me! 

P.S. You might also be interested in…

What Ethical SEO Services Actually Are When Working with Me