Facebook Ads 101: What is your Relevance Score and why does it matter?

advertising customer experience facebook marketing social media Apr 04, 2018

Like it or hate it, if your audience is online, they are probably on Facebook.

And let’s face it, pretty much everyone is on Facebook these days, even my 95 year old grandfather had an account to keep in touch with his growing family.

Because your audience is on Facebook, it’s a great place to get your brand in front of them.

But Facebook is far more than an advertising platform. It’s an engagement platform.

Last year, Mark Zuckerberg spoke about Facebook’s goals to build communities. Online communities where people are actively engaged, not just sitting back and consuming information.

This is important, hold this thought and read on.

What are ‘relevance scores?’

If you’ve tried your hand at doing Facebook Ads you will have noticed that your ads now have three relevancy metrics, together they replace what used to be a single relevance score.

Now instead of a score out of 10, you’re ranked against ads to the same audience by other advertisers and given a score of:

  • Above average
  • Average
  • Below average (top 35%, 15%)

So what are you being ranked on?

Quality – this ranks your ad’s quality which is the experience for the user, including your landing page. A slow loading landing page will send your quality rank down!

Engagement Rate – how engaging your ad is, which means it could be either your image or your copy.

Conversion Rate – how likely your ad is to convert, based on the objective you’ve selected for your campaign.

The main thing to remember is that these scores are estimates only, based on Facebook’s assessment of your whole ad experience, and it can change throughout a campaign too!

Why does relevance matter?

Remember two minutes ago I mentioned Facebook’s goal of building communities? They know that if they want us all to keep using Facebook we need to enjoy our experience on their platform.

Enjoyment stems from being engaged with people we like and consuming content we are interested in.

This includes being exposed to ads that we are interested in.

Of course this also serves the advertiser because you want to maximise your ROI from your campaign and that means getting it in front of the right people who are interested in your services.

Therefore, Facebook prioritises ads that are going to give their customers a better experience.

The more relevant, engaging and interesting your ad is, the better position it will be given in the news feed and a lower cost per impression will be charged.

The scores are provided to us to help us diagnose what might be wrong with our ad, so we can focus on the area with the low score to improve.

How do I improve my scores?

1. Audience targetting.

Facebook offers you an insane amount of targetting information so you can drill right down and find your ideal customer.

Spend some time building your audience to define who you want to reach with your ad and you will be rewarded. Always select a targetted audience, never use a generic Facebook audience.

2. Deliver the right type of advert to the audience at the right stage of the sales process.

Whoa! This is starting to sound technical. But not really – just be aware of the sales process and where your selected target audience are at. If they are cold (don’t know you), it’s pointless to serve them a sales conversion advert because you need to build trust with them first.

But if you are retargetting previous website visitors or people who like your page, then a conversion advert will work.

However, be wary of overselling on Facebook. Most of Facebook’s users say they don’t like being sold to when they’re in their social zone so you’d be better off using your ad to entice them over to your website and do the selling there.

3. Craft your messaging to engage your audience.

Yes obviously you need to get them engaged so they act on your ad. Rather than talk about yourself/your company, talk to them about their problems. Use carefully crafted messages to draw them in, get them to read your ad.

Ask a question and get people to answer you in the comments, or entice them to click on that button. Every time someone clicks on ‘hide adverts’ or reports your account, your relevance score will be impacted, not to mention your whole account!

4. Create a seamless journey for your audience.

Did you know that Facebook’s technology assesses your landing page or sign up form and judges it for how relevant it is to your advert?

They also check things like page loading times. These elements influence how they score your ad for relevance and how much priority they give it in the feed.

5. Follow Facebook’s advertising policies

Play the game by their rules and they will reward you. This means avoiding hard sell ads, click bait, and even putting text in all caps.

Certain words are big no-nos, so are the old-school marketing banners with text overlaying images, so be savvy and read up on Facebook’s advertising guidelines before spending any money.

They even have a great tool where you can upload images to check if they comply with the ‘max 20% text overlay’ rule.

The guidelines are actually there to help you create a good experience for your audience so you are successful with your ads. (Yes, Facebook does want you to succeed so you can keep paying them to place more ads!).

6. Learn how to run ads the Facebook way

Facebook’s algorithm works to get you the best results possible for your ad. I highly recommend using their split-testing option to find the most relevant audience, or the best creative.

You’ve got to give the algorithm time to learn what’s working for you so it can optimise your ad – this means you need to leave it alone for the first 3-5 days before you start making changes.

Got a question about any of the above? Put it in the comments below and I’ll respond to you!

Read more about Facebook:

How to understand the Facebook algorithm and use it to your advantage