Maintaining results after initial search optimization efforts produced a spike in traffic.

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Solution: Search engine optimization (SEO) is like brushing your teeth—you can pay a dentist to clean and fix them, but you still need to brush daily.

First, make sure you aren't messing up what you paid to get done. If you had a page optimized to include keywords, be careful about making changes to it. When creating new pages and content, make sure you apply the same SEO standards used when you first optimized your site.

When redesigning your site, keep the site structure the same or similar. When you restructure a site, search engines will have to reindex the site, and you will break valuable inbound links from other sites. If you can plan ahead, SEO takes the least amount of time and money when you do it in conjunction with a revamp rather than before or after.

Second, you need to build off what you already have. Many search engines gauge how important you are by looking at who else thinks you are important, i.e., who is linking to you. Make time to find related sites and cultivate relevant inbound links.

Blogs are also an effective way of interacting with the community, creating inbound links and generating dynamic content. And don't forget to update the content on your site. Search engines look at how fresh the content is when assigning relevancy.

Aaron Kahlow is managing partner at Business OnLine (, a b-to-b Web site services company.

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