Your clinic’s website is designed to perform (and if it’s not, it should be). But how do you make that happen? To get to the top of Google, your site needs to have excellent, optimized content, as well as follow some basic website rules.

Let’s help you better understand why your clinic website isn’t ranking, so you can take steps to fix the problems. They’re not overwhelming, so don’t get nervous. A well-working website that gets a higher ranking is closer than you think. 

Here’s what you can expect to take away from this episode on why your clinic website isn’t ranking:

  • Some SEO best practices

  • Simple changes you can make to your clinic’s website to help it perform better 

  • Why knowing your buyer persona or target audience is so critical

  • Common reasons your website isn’t ranking 

  • And more

Designing a clinic website is no small task; there are a lot of moving parts. But don’t give up! With a little help, getting those online connections will be a walk in the park, and once you have those, you have a website that’s getting you the ranking you deserve. 

Are you ready to learn why your website isn’t ranking as high as you’d like? Hit the link, and let’s dive in!

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Show Notes:

  • I just put my website together; do you have any tips and resources to help? Yes! It’s important to ensure your website is optimized; Propel can help with resources on our site.

  • Do particular website platforms come with SEO features? In almost all cases, yes, but you can’t rely solely on it to do your optimization.

  • Can I copy and paste if I’m creating a new website or switching website platforms? Hard no.  
  • Do I need to know my target audience before I build my clinic’s website? You absolutely should because that’s who you’re talking to. If you build your site first, you’ll likely find yourself having to make lots of edits.

  • What are white hat SEO tactics? Great content that’s geared toward your target audience and offers a connection with them.

  • What is SEO exactly? Search engine optimization- using proven strategies to get your target audience to your website organically (without paying for ads).

  • Should I write general or generic content to attract more people? No, it doesn’t work like that, and you’ll likely lose your target audience.

  • What are SEO keywords? These are the words your users (target audience) are using to search for you. So, yes, you need them in your content!

  • Does my page load speed have anything to do with my website ranking? It sure does; if your pages load too slowly, people won’t wait around.  

  • Are SEO best practices important, and what are they? SEO best practices are very important to your ranking, and there are many! We detail some below.  

  • I don’t know how to get quality backlinks to my website. No problem. We do, and we’re happy to help.   

  • Will the user experience (UX) help me rank higher on Google? 100%. UX is vital to your online performance.  

Selected links and other resources related to this episode:

Why Your Website Isn't Ranking Podcast Transcript

Today, we're diving into some specifics about why your website might not be ranking. 

I'm your host Darcy Sullivan. And let's just go ahead and dive into this topic. 

Now we're speaking specifically about your website and its rankings on Google and those other search engines. We're not talking about your Google Maps listing, which is controlled by your Google Business Profile listing.

For information about how to rank your Google Maps or Google Business Profile listing, please check out one of our previous episodes where we did a deep dive into how to do just that. You can get that link by checking out the Show Notes section in this podcast.

Common reasons why your website isn't ranking 

So today, we're talking all about your clinic's website. And I'm going to go over with you the top  reasons why we see issues that people are having when it comes to ranking their website on Google. 

And the first one that we'll dive into is that your website might be new or you just switched platforms. If your website is brand spanking new, it's going to take a little while for you to gain that authority and position yourself on Google.

So, you're going to want to be sure to make sure that your website is properly optimized and that you're continuing to add proper content to help you connect with your target audience. 

If you are just getting started with your website, be sure to check out some of our resources at We've got website checklists, we've got free trainings, and more, and that's directly for those that are just launching their website.

You have a new website or you just switched website platforms

Now, if you had a website before and you've switched platforms, or you just went through a major change with your website, yeah, there can be some issues. And let's talk about a couple of those that we commonly see. 

So, first off, almost all of the website platforms that are out there today are SEO friendly. You know, we have WordPress, Wix, Squarespace. Some people listening might be using Clinic Sites or Get Clear Sites. All of these offer a great foundation when it comes to SEO, but just because you're using a specific platform, does it mean your website is actually optimized?

And I've had this case come up time and time again, where clients come to us because they had a new “beautiful” or better website designed, and their website rankings tank. 

What can happen is a number of things. One, the new site just isn't properly optimized. Again, there's a big difference between using a platform that's optimized and the actual site being optimized.

You want to make sure that all of your URLs from your old site match the new URLs. Or that they’re redirected to match the proper URLs. What can happen is some pages can get removed, or the URLs change, and then you're getting a 404 page when people try to go to that old URL. Meaning they're getting a this-page-doesn't-exist link, and that's going to end up hurting you in the long run.

Before you make a switch to a new website, there's a number of things that you want to consider. You want to consider what content is going over there and how it's going to be optimized to make sure that you're matching the needs of what people are searching for. 

So, it's not the same as just copying and pasting all of the content from your old website to the new website.

You need to make sure that your links correspond; you need to check out your meta page, titles, tags, and descriptions, your internal links. There's a whole lot that gets put into play that can be causing a little bit of an issue. 

If you are a clinic owner and you feel like you're having that issue, please visit our website,, and click on Book a Consultation and let's chat because we can take a look at your new website and give you some insight into how you can improve that.

You're using wrong or outdated SEO strategies

Reason number two that your website might not be ranking: Your website might not be ranking if you're using old-school techniques or you're trying to rank on Google without considering your ideal target audience- their wants and their needs. 

You want to make sure that you're not creating search engine first content, that the content that you're putting on your website is not designed to “trick” Google or bypass anything to help you get to position number one on Google.

That your content is using what we call white hat SEO tactics: tactics that ensure that you are first writing for your target audience and creating content to help you have a better connection with them. And then you're taking that content and optimizing it. 

Back in the day, there were two terms. There was black hat SEO and white hat SEO. And black hat SEO referenced trying to trick Google and to get the top position.

So that phrase isn't really used as much as it was maybe 10, 15 years ago, but you still want to make sure that you're not doing “black hat” techniques. That you're not buying, for instance, links, inbound links to your website in hopes of boosting your position or having AI sources write content for the sake of content’s sake, that you're taking actions that are in alignment with best SEO practices.

So, reason number one that we went over is that your website is brand new or you just switched platforms. Reason number two is you're using some old-school SEO tricks that don't work anymore. 

And as we refer to SEO, we're talking about search engine optimization. SEO focuses on using proven strategies and tactics to maximize the number of visitors to your website by positioning your website high on the list of organic. That's the non-paid results in Google and those other search engines. 

So, we talked about reason number one and reason number two.


You've lost sight of your ideal audience 

Reason number three– and I see this a lot– is that sometimes people lose sight of their audience, or they haven't taken the time to really clearly define their target audience. 

In the Show Notes, you can check out a podcast that we did specifically on this topic.

But you really want to hone in on who your target audience is and, the questions that they're asking, the services that you offer that directly correlate to the problems that they have. That's the type of content that you want to be developing. 

I see this time and time again, where people put together generic content, or they're writing or having content written about stuff that doesn't really directly correlate to the problems that their target audience has. 

And when you do this, not only do you see droppings in your website ranking, but the messaging seems to be out of alignment on your website for who you're trying to target, and, in turn, the leads that you do get might not line up with the target audience that you would like to attract.

You're trying to copy your competition

Next on the list is reason number four. You're trying to copy your competition.

One thing that I've said time and time again, is that you cannot become the best in your industry by copying what your competition is doing. You cannot get to position number one on Google, number two, number three, number four by copying what your competition is doing. You need to find your unique value-adds and position yourself strategically, not copying exactly what they're doing.

Keyword chaos is bad for SEO

Reason number five that your clinic website might not be ranking is that you're suffering from what I like to call keyword chaos. And this comes in different forms. It comes in the form of you might not have clearly defined what keywords you should be ranking for; you might be thinking too small when it comes to the keywords you should be targeting.

You could be targeting keywords that are just too competitive. That can happen in an over-saturated market- if you've got a number of clinics that you're competing with that are in your specific area. 

If you're not familiar with the phrase keywords- keywords are words or phrases in your website, content that make it possible for people to find your site through the search engines.

Here's the thing, if you're not using the right keywords on your website, it's going to make it more difficult for Google, for those keywords specifically. When you think about keywords, you want to think about the services that you offer, the problems that you solve, the solutions that you offer, industry topics, and they want to be location-based.

We want to make sure that you're targeting keyword phrases that are going to help you locally if you're a clinic that's trying to rank locally. And a lot of this comes down to picking out a specific targeted keyword phrase for every single website page. 

So. For example, we work with a lot of chiropractors. Well, your homepage should include the word chiropractor. Your chiropractic care page should focus on the words chiropractor and chiropractic. Your back pain page should focus on back pain. You want to make sure that you're directly correlating the keywords that you're trying to target with those specific pages. 

You don't want to help one overall keyword that you're trying to rank for on every single page. Sure, you might be a chiropractor, and you might be in a specific city, you, you are in a specific city, but, yeah, even though you're trying to rank for chiropractor, and name of city, you're also trying to rank– or should be trying to rank– for other keywords that correlate with the problems that your ideal patients have.

So again, we talked about how your website might be new, or you might just have switched platforms. You might be using old-school, outdated techniques. You may have lost sight of your target audience. You may be trying to copy what your competition is doing. It could be that you suffer from keyword chaos, like we just spoke about, or number six.

Website indexing issue

It could be that you have indexing issues.

This we see very, very seldom, but when we do, it's a big, big problem.

So, what can happen is there might be a chance that if your website is brand new, which kind of bumps up to number one, where you did a recent website redesign as an example, and we see this more in WordPress than we do in other sites, let's just say that you had a company design your new website and while they were designing the new website in WordPress, they had it marked to discourage search engines from indexing the site because in their mind, it was draft time and they were doing the layout. 

They were getting the content right. They didn't want the world wide web to have access to it. But they forgot to clear out that indexing issue before the launch. That's a huge issue.

So, how do you know if you're like absolutely nowhere in the world?

Can I find my website online? If you go to Google and you type in and do a search. See what appears. The pages on your website should appear.

So, in the example of, let's say that your website, well, we'll use our website. For example, our website is I would go to Google, and I would put in the search I'm not typing in site, colon, HTTP, or HTTPS. I'm not putting in the www. I'm just strictly typing in site, colon,

When you do that, and you do a search, you'll see all of the index pages. If there is an overall Indexing issue, you're not going to see anything if that is your issue, and you are, again, a person who has a clinic website: chiropractor, acupuncturist, physical therapist, what have you, please feel free to book a consultation with us. You can do so by going to When you get there, there's a nice little tab that says Book a Discovery Call. 

If, when listening to this episode at all, you're interested in booking a discovery call with us, please feel free to do that. Whether you feel like you have an indexing issue or a content issue, an SEO issue of another kind, whatever.

Now, the example that I just gave means that if you're having that issue- absolutely none of the pages on your website are being indexed. There are times when there are specific pages on your website that you do not want to have indexed; that's completely different than your overall website not showing up anywhere online.

And to give you examples of those, like, a Thank You page should not be indexed. There are other pages that are really just not- you just mark them as “no index.” Simply having a Thank You page and a couple other specific pages not indexed on purpose is different. 

For example, you might have an ad page that you're running. Well, you only want traffic coming from the advertisements that you're running. So, you might mark it as “no index” because you do not want it to show up in the Google results.

Your website has a slow load speed

Reason number six that your website isn't showing up: it's slow. It's too slow.

Nobody likes a slow website. If that is your issue, there are actions that you can take to improve your website's speed it could be due to your hosting, it could be due to some of your file sizes there are numerous actions that you can take, but you do want to make sure that you take action to increase your website speed if your website is loading at this speed of molasses 

Number, let's see what number are we on?


Not following best SEO practices 

Reason number eight that your website might not be ranking- if you're not following best SEO practices, your website might not be ranking 

We have a great free training that you can check out at called the Five SEO Secrets to Owning the First Page of Google Without Buying Ads, that will walk you through some of the basics of SEO. 

But just to go over some, you want to make sure that you're using SEO-friendly URLs, that you're using proper title tags and meta page descriptions, that you're using proper header tags, that you're using your keywords, that you're using internal links and we'll talk about internal links here in a couple of minutes in more detail.

You want to make sure that your content is easy to digest and that it's scannable, that your images are properly optimized, and you want to make sure that you have an overall great user experience which we're going to talk about again coming up soon, as well.

Some of these items are just really the proper foundation for having a good website.

You don't have any backlinks (or you only have a few backlinks) 

Reason number nine that your website isn't ranking or might not be ranking; you have few backlinks to your website.

So, when we think of the web, we think of it just like that web connects link by link by link. Having the proper backlinks to your website will help increase your overall visibility on Google and those other search engines. 

We have a guide on our website that you can look into on how to start building easy backlinks  to your website to help you, if you don't have any backlinks or a few backlinks– that are the appropriate type– that are coming to your website. 

Again, when we talked about reason number two that you might be following old-school, inappropriate SEO hacks or tricks, we talked about buying links to your web for your website.

You absolutely do not want to do that.

What you want to do is to start getting natural links to your website through a holistic approach, and you can check out the guide in our Show Notes on how to get started on building quality backlinks to your website.

So, backlinks are links from other websites to your website. But you don't want to disregard reason number 10, and that's the lack of proper internal links.   

You're not using internal website links

Google uses links to understand how all of the information on the world wide web ties together. So having proper internal links on your website will help you do just that.

Help you send signals to Google about how your information correlates to other relevant information on your website. 

So, for example, if you're a chiropractor and you are writing a new back pain page, and you're talking about services that you offer that help with back pain and you mention chiropractic adjustments or acupuncture, you want to link then to that content, those other pages internally, so this helps Google and your reader understand how your information relates to each other. 

And we've all had this happen, right?

You've been on a website, and you've seen a link from one page to another page, and you stay on a website longer.

We call this dwell time.

How long you dwell is how long you stay on a website, which is another indicator to Google that you're providing and serving up quality content. 

You want to, once you get somebody on your website, that the goals are either for them to book an appointment with you or for them to continue to stay on your website until they feel comfortable enough to know, like, and trust you enough to make an appointment with you or consider you a valuable resource.

So, we want to make sure that we're including those internal links in the proper way to help you do just that.

Your website has a bad UX (User Experience)

Next up, reason number 11, is what we refer to as a bad UX, a bad user experience. And I think we're going to end up doing a podcast specifically on this topic because it’s coming up more and more and more.

But what we want to do is we want somebody to enjoy their experience on your website.

Google wants people to enjoy their experience on your website.

So, the way that we do this is one by making it easy when they get to your website to know how to navigate around your website in a proper way, we want to make sure that you're providing the right content that somebody is looking for when they come to your website.

You want to make sure your navigation structure is simple, that the “Book now” or booking process is very clearly defined, that you know that your logo looks appropriate, that you don't have a dark blue button on top of a medium blue background, which makes the contrast hard to see.

That you don't have texts on top of, like, embedded in your images instead of underneath them or laid right out on top of it.

You know, that your logo doesn't scratch those small when somebody scrolls down, and there's this sticky header menu that they tell the name of your company. Honey. 

There's a number of different factors that go into creating a really good user experience on your website. 

And if you're unsure, if your website contains, uh, a bad user experience, ask somebody that you know to take a look at your website as if they didn't know what you did.

Make sure that they're able to navigate to all of the important, easy get-to pages that they would know exactly how to book an appointment with you, that they could leave the website after a few minutes, knowing exactly what services you provide, and what solutions you, you fix for people.

That's the easiest way to get started with that if you are, if you think that you might have a bad UX happening on your website, a bad user experience.

Lack of of quality, original content on your website

The final reason that is one of the most common reasons why we see people having problems with their website rankings is the lack of quality, original content. 

You know, your content being thin or poorly optimized or generic content. Content written by AI, one of those AI systems or canned content. Those are all reasons that can lead to having bad website rankings. 

Let's recap 

So, kind of in no particular order here, I'm just going to jump back through some of the things that we mentioned. We talked about links. Links to your website, links within website pages and blog posts to other relevant content on your website. Providing a good user experience, providing quality content. Think unique, quality content that directly aligns with what your target audience is looking for. 

Making sure that you're following the best SEO practices. You want to make sure that your website loads quickly, that you don't have an indexing issue. Again, the indexing issue is- the overall website indexing issue is not very common, but when it happens just, your website will absolutely not rank anywhere. 

You want to make sure that you've done your keyword research, that you're not copying your competition, that you've clearly identified your target audience and that you are not using old-school SEO tricks.

If you have yet to take our free SEO workshop, please do. You can visit to watch or sign up for that free training. 

Then, the first reason that we talked about is if you do have a new website or you're switching platforms, make sure that your SEO is in check just because you're using a friendly platform, doesn’t mean you're doing SEO or that your site is optimized.

So. so, you do want to make sure you are always following best SEO practices. If you feel like your website could use a little SEO love, please feel free to visit and book a discovery call- we would love to chat with you. 

Darcy’s SEO strategies are easy to implement and effective. She’s the #1 SEO expert I refer to whenever I need help with my rankings.


SEO queen! I can’t thank Propel and Darcy enough for holding my hand through the SEO process! I’m loving the podcast and all the insight! Also loving that my business is now getting the brand awareness and sales I’ve always wanted!


Wow! Clear, concise and impactful. Excellent details and tips - already seeing a return!! Worth the 20 min listen.


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This episode of the Propel Your Practice Podcast is brought to you by Propel Marketing & Design. Propel Marketing & Design helps Chiropractors, Acupuncturists, Physical Therapists, Wellness Practitioners, and other clinic owners improve their website rankings.

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