As an SEO expert, it’s natural to feel frustrated when you come across a website that has a lower SEO score than yours but ranks higher on search engines. You might wonder what you are doing wrong as you’ve already optimized your website and followed all the best practices. It’s important to understand that SEO is a complex system, and your website’s SEO score is just one of the many factors that influence your search engine ranking.

In this post, we will explore the reasons behind it and the various SEO ranking factors that influence the search engine ranking of a website.

SEO Ranking Factors Influencing Search Engine Ranking

To understand why a site with lower SEO score ranks higher on search engines than yours, you need to know the fundamental ranking factors that influence search engine ranking:

1. Content Relevance and Quality

Search engines rank websites based on the relevance and quality of their content. Your website’s content should have high relevance to the user’s search query and provide valuable information. If your competitors have more relevant or higher quality content than you, they will rank higher than you—even if their SEO score is lower.

For instance, let’s say you have a website where you provide skincare tips, and your competitor has a much lower SEO score. However, if your competitor provides better, more valuable content that engages the users, the user will spend more time on their site, and the search engine algorithm will identify the site as more relevant.

2. Backlinks

Backlinks are links from other websites that point to your website. Search engines consider backlinks as a vote of confidence in your website’s content. The more high-quality backlinks you have from authoritative websites, the higher your website will rank on search engines. Even if your website has a higher SEO score, your competitor might have more and better backlinks, which could result in a better ranking.

3. User Experience

A good user experience is critical to search engines in ranking websites. If a user visits your website and has a bad experience, they are more likely to navigate away quickly. Search engines monitor user behavior carefully, and if users leave your site quickly, it signals a lack of user experience.

Thus, factors like page load speed, mobile responsiveness, and user-friendly navigation impact search engine rankings. A competitor with a lower SEO score that has a better user experience will rank higher than your website.

4. Technical SEO

Your website’s technical performance also plays a vital role in your search engine ranking. Search engines can penalize your website if it has technical problems that make it difficult for them to index your website’s content.

For instance, if your website has duplicate content, broken links, or slow page load speed, it will negatively impact your search engine ranking. A competitor with a lower SEO score but with better technical SEO will rank higher than you.

5. Local SEO Optimization

For local businesses, local SEO optimization is a key factor in ranking higher on search engines. It helps your website to show up on local search results when potential customers search for products or services in their area.

If you target specific locations, it’s essential to optimize your website for local SEO. Your competitor with a lower SEO score might have a better local SEO optimization strategy, impacting their ranking on local search results.

6. Social Media Engagement

Social media engagement is also becoming an essential factor in search engine ranking. Social media links help search engines discover new content and gauge user engagement with your website. Social media links can also complement your backlink profile.

If your competition has a lower SEO score but higher social media engagement, they might rank higher than your site—demonstrating just how important social media optimization is to search engine ranking.

In conclusion, it’s essential to remember that your website’s SEO score is not the only factor that impacts your ranking on search engines. A strong SEO score is crucial, but other factors like content relevance and quality, backlinks, user experience, technical SEO, local SEO optimization, and social media engagement play an equally essential role in determining your search engine ranking. Always strive to improve your website’s SEO score while simultaneously optimizing across these other factors.