If you've been advertising on Facebook, you may have noticed your ads have a relevance score. So, what is this relevance score and why is it important? In this post, we'll walk you through everything you need to know about Facebook's ad relevance score plus three quick ways to improve it so you get the biggest bang for your Facebook advertising buck.
Let's start with a little Q&A session.
Q: What is Facebook’s ad relevance score?
Facebook’s ad relevance score is a number from 1-10 (10 being highest and one being lowest) that tells you how relevant your ad will be to your target audience.
Q: How does Facebook calculate relevance?
Facebook calculates your ad’s relevance based on a number of factors. Before it will calculate relevance, though, your ad has to be served (shown) 500 times. After you exceed 500, you can check your relevance score in Ad Manager.
How to see your relevance score:
- Go to Facebook Ad Manager
- Click “Campaigns”
- Click “Ads”
- Click “Relevance Score”
Your relevance score is based on how Facebook thinks your audience will react to your ad. Facebook factors in expected positive and negative feedback to determine your relevance score.
You will see your relevance score at the bottom right, along with other information about your ad's performance, including reach, cost per click and amount spent.
Q: What does Facebook mean by positive and negative feedback?
Positive feedback is the number of times Facebook thinks people will take certain actions, such as:
- Share your ad
- Like your ad
- Click your CTA (call-to-action)
- Watch your ad’s video (if there is one)
- Hide your ad
- Choose to stop being served ads from your business
- How specific your ad targeting is
- Image quality
- Message quality (Facebook likes specific, concise ad copy. Bonus points for a clear CTA button.)
And your ad’s quality score can change over time, for better or worse.
Let’s say your relevance score starts out low but then your ad gets mostly positive feedback from your audience. That will raise your score. Your relevance score can also decrease over time. This could indicate that the ad needs to be refreshed.
Q: Why does your ad’s relevance score matter?
Your relevance score is pretty important. Higher scores can lower the cost of advertising on Facebook. Who doesn’t want to pay less to reach more people?
Relevance score is more than a way to lower your ad spend, though. Your relevance score is a good metric to use when figuring out how you can improve your ads. If it’s more relevant, you know you’re reaching the correct audience.
If it’s lower, though, that means you’re targeting the wrong people and you need to rethink your advertising strategy.
So, if your ads receive a low relevance score, you need to improve it, not only to save money but also to make sure your ads reach the right people.
As you see here, this ad's relevance score is eight and the cost per click is only $0.25.
Q: What's a good ad relevance score?
Erica Flinn, our Paid Advertising Manager, Says to aim high with your relevance score. “A score of 10 is the best possible rating for your Facebook relevance score, so you always want to aim for the best. Even the best campaigns might not receive a high relevance score within the first week (or even month) but Facebook advertising is all about optimizing, optimizing and optimizing again.
"To improve your relevance score, really think about who your target audience is and how to reach them. You can update the ad text, images and targeting from there. A|B testing (and optimizing the campaign to show the highest performing ad) is a great way to see which ad achieves a better relevance score, too,” Flinn said.
Q: How can you improve your Facebook ad’s relevance score?
1. Know your audience and be specific with your targeting.
Before you can target the right people, you need to figure out who, exactly, you want to see your ads. If you’ve never done audience research or created buyer personas before, now is the time to start.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when creating your buyer personas:
- Demographic information: age, gender, occupation
- Problems and pain points
- Customer feedback
You can also use Facebook Insights (Facebook’s tool to track interactions with anyone who interacts with your Facebook page) to find out which demographics have interacted with your posts.
Once you have this information, you can create buyer personas and decide who your ads should be targeting. And now, you can use that information to be uber-specific with your ad targeting.
Now that you know who interacts with those posts, you can use your demographic information to create hyper-targeted posts. You don’t need to target every single Facebook user who might have the same interest as your current fans, and in order to raise your relevance score, you probably don’t want to.
Instead look at which demographic is most likely to interact with your posts.
As you see in the screenshot above, Facebook breaks your audience down into smaller groups, so target only one of those age groups.
You can also choose which gender you’d like to target, so it’s a good idea to see which gender has responded best to your previous ads (or your posts in general) to be even more specific with your targeting. And don’t forget to target users with specific interests relevant to your business or industry.
In short: If you want to be relevant (and raise your relevance score) find out which demographics are already liking your posts, and use those demographics to target similar users.
2. Split test (A|B test) your ads.
Another way to improve your Facebook relevance score is to split test ads. Split testing is a great way to improve relevance, and it’s pretty simple. Split testing (also called A|B testing) is testing two versions of the same thing (this could be anything from a call-to-action button to ad copy to image to elements in your landing page and so on) to see which version performs better.
Todd Feldman, one of our Paid Advertising Specialists, has some advice for split testing your Facebook ads, including adding another user interest or behavior to narrow down your audience even further:
“While Facebook is vague on their feedback regarding why you're given a low relevance score, don't take it personally. Use it as a reminder to freshen up your targeting or run an A|B test with a similar ad set.
"When A|B testing two ads, consider using a similar audience but adding some new variables to one of the ads to include as exclusions. Or, you could add another interest or behavior to the second ad to narrow your audience a little further,” Feldman said.
Facebook has some advice for split testing your ads in order to improve relevance score as well. There are a couple of easy ways to do this:
- Show the same ad to two different audiences to see which ad the audience resonates with
- Show two different ads to the same audience to see which ad does better with your target audience
Once the ads have been running for a while, you can either test the ad that performed better with a new ad, or you can settle on the better-performing ad.
But over time, your ad’s relevance score could decrease as audiences get sick of seeing the same ad. So if that happens, don’t forget to refresh the ad. You could change the image or do another round of split testing to see what audiences respond well to.
3. Use high-quality, relevant ad images and copy.
This one is pretty self-explanatory. You don’t need me to tell you people are more likely to click your ad if it looks well designed. Make sure your images are relevant to your business and what your ad is trying to accomplish. And make sure your images are high-quality. Blurry iPhone pics are not the way to improve your relevance score.
As for the text you pair with your ad images, make sure it is clear and concise. Make the call-to-action easy to understand. Don’t make your audience wonder what they’re supposed to do. Instead, tell them what their next step should be.
Quick Tip: Facebook grades your ad images based on the amount of text they contain. If your image contains too much text, Facebook will reduce your ad’s reach. So if you want to make sure Facebook finds your ad images acceptable, don't use more than 20 percent text overlay on your images. For more information on this, check out our post on Facebook's ad image rule.
P.S. Need help with Facebook advertising? Check out our free webinar!