How to use Facebook’s Ad Relevance Score to Improve Performance

Introduced in 2015, Facebook’s Ad Relevance Score has successfully confounded marketers and advertisers for the last two years. But with the steady onslaught of Facebook Ads, and with News Feeds becoming more and more competitive, FB had to create some type of quality metric.

Your Facebook Ad Relevance Score is a rating of 1-10, given only after it has reached a minimum of 500 impressions (which will happen pretty quickly). This score is calculated on a daily basis, based on positive and negative feedback as well as how the ad is performing.

Actions such as shares and likes are deemed as “positive” actions, whereas “negative” feedback is when folks hide your ads or when your objectives (like people clicking) aren’t met.

In other words, Relevance Score measures how relevant an ad is to the people advertisers have targeted.

But the Relevance Score metric isn’t always used. While it’s great for ads that make people perform some type of action, it’s not put into use if the objective of an ad is to reach a certain number of people. Facebook has said as much in its own blog post when it states that Relevance Score has “a smaller impact on cost and delivery in brand awareness campaigns, since those ads are optimized for reaching people, rather than driving a specific action like installs.”

Your Relevance Score looks like this:

You can access these scores in your ads monitoring or reporting tool.

How you can improve your ads with Relevance Score

There are a number of ways you can improve your ads using Facebook’s Relevance Score. Seeing as images take up a significant portion of Facebook ads, and are what typically cause a user to stop his or her scrolling, let’s start there.

A/B image testing

There are a number of types of images that have proven to work for a variety of industries, including using:

  • A human face
  • A mascot
  • A brand logo
  • A text image if the content is compelling
  • A quirky image (so long as it falls in line with your brand)

See how we used a quirky image combined with text to grab attention to one of our ads:

What you’ll want to do is A/B test images for each of your ads. If you’re promoting an eBook, don’t just create one ad. Create two ads with two separate images – images that vary enough in their purpose and appearance so you can fairly assess which type of image resonates more with your audiences.

Get specific with your targeting

Many advertisers have the tendency to push their ad to a massively large audience so that they can reach as many people as possible. However, we encourage you to try to be as specific as possible when defining interests, age, gender, etc. This will greatly increase the relevancy of your ad. If you achieve a better score with this type of targeting, you can slowly fine tune your campaign from there.

You might consider using precise targeting options like Custom and Lookalike audiences to improve your Relevance Score. These targeted options allow you to create audience sets based on phone numbers, Facebook user IDs, email addresses and more. You can also upload your existing contacts (from software like MailChimp) directly to Facebook to create new audiences.

Create Compelling Calls-to-Action (CTAs)

Seeing as the actions users take impact your Relevance Score, you want to make sure your CTAs help encourage conversion.

Take a look at this ad by Viddyoze:

Their CTA says “Learn More.” Studies show that type of CTA doesn’t actually deliver stellar results. There are a lot of theories behind this, but a couple that seem to be widely believed are:

  • Learning more equates to the user having to do something of an effort, and who wants to do that?
  • You can’t quantify “learn more.” It’s extremely vague.

Viddydoze helps counter these issues within their ad text by emphasizing “In 3 Clicks.” But psychology is a tricky thing – Learn More still might deter folks from clicking on.

In this ad, the CTA speaks directly to the language preceding it and is both quantifiable (you know when you sign up – it’s a simple action you can take) and likely doesn’t exude the type of effort that learning does.

Because of the way this ad is crafted, readers know they can find freelancing jobs, just by signing up.

Analyze each of your CTAs. Do you make it easy for your audiences to understand the purpose of your ad? If the answer is yes, then your Relevance Score will likely reflect that.

And finally, turn to videos

There’s just no avoiding the reality: Facebook ads featuring videos perform better than ads that don’t feature videos. Not only can you quickly make video ads using FB’s new video views features (so that your audiences take action depending on the CTA of your video) but you can also split-test your video content.

So, for example, if you create a 2-minute video and your audiences are losing interest after just 60 seconds, you may want to alter the content at that exact mark to encourage longer retention.

Looking beyond just Relevance Score

As important as it is to boost your Relevance Score, keep in mind that the success of your Facebook ads is greatly impacted by your bid. If two ads are targeted at the same audience, and one has a higher bid than the other (despite the lower-bid ad having an excellent Relevant Score) that higher-bid ad will outperform the other.

However, a strong relevance score will still give you the power to lower your costs and improve ad efficiency. Use it alongside other metrics to measure the success of your campaigns.

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