Understanding Facebook’s Relevance Score

If you have run a Facebook ad before, you have probably seen the column labeled Relevance Score in your ad analytics. If you haven’t seen this metric before, go to your campaign dashboard and inspect the ad at the ad set level.

Photo Credit: @niceimpact
Photo Credit: @niceimpact


Facebook defines the relevance score as a “1 to 10 score based on how your ad is performing with the selected audience. A higher score indicates a lower cost.”

In other words, the more relevant your ad is to your audience, the better it will perform and the less it will cost.

Facebook considers how relevant your ad is to each person before showing it to him or her. The more relevant your ad is to your audience the more likely it will be served to them over other ads targeting the same audience.

How The Score Works

Facebook doesn’t display a relevance score until the ad has been served more than 500 times to your chosen audience. The higher the score, the more your ad resonates with your audience. Facebook updates the relevance score daily in real-time to help advertisers spot negative and positive interactions with their ad.

It is important to not confuse the term relevance with quality. This score is not telling you how good your picture or copy is but how much the ad relates to your target audience.

You could have the best picture in the world and amazing copy but if you are promoting men’s clothing and targeting serving your ad to teenage girls it will still have an unsatisfactory score.

How The Score is Determined

There are several different factors that play into the composition of the relevance score. This includes negative signals, click-through-rate, engagement and campaign objective. All of these different metrics are rolled into two categories, positive and negative feedback.

Positive Feedback

Facebook defines positive feedback as “The number of times we expect people to take a desired action such as share or like your ad, or help you achieve your objective, such as visiting your website.”

This means that if you are running an ad with the campaign objective of clicks to your website and people in your target audience are clicking through to your website, Facebook counts that as positive feedback. This will increase your relevance score.

Negative Feedback

Negative feedback is when a user hides your ad or indicates a negative experience with your ad such as choosing not to see ads from you.

However, it is possible to have a high relevance score such as a 9/10 that has both high positive and negative Feedback. In this situation, Facebook assumes that the good outweighs the bad and awards you a higher score.

How To Improve Your Relevance Score

If you have discovered that your score is less than desirable, there are a few things that you can do to improve it.

Adjust Your Target Audience

If your relevance score is dismal, you are probably targeting the wrong types of people. You can’t just create ads for anyone and expect people to click on them. Create buyer personas that help you identify your target audience and create ads targeting those users.

Split Test

If the first ad you ran didn’t receive a high relevance score, don’t think of it as a waste of money, but rather as valuable data that you can use to improve your next advertisement.

Try running the ad again with same copy and picture but this time choose a new audience or narrow the one that you already have. If your relevance score increases, then you know that your target audience was the factor. You can keep split testing the audience until you reach a 9 or 10 relevance score.

Don’t Obsess

It is important to remember that you shouldn’t focus solely on the relevance score to determine if your ad was a success or failure. Putting too much emphasis on one metric is always a quick path to destruction.

Make sure you take into account other metric as well. Cost per action, click-through-rate and return-on-investment are all important metrics that factor into the success of your ad.

Bonus Tip

Remember that your Facebook ad is the carrot used to lure potential customers to your website. The landing page that you are directing visitors to is just important if not more important than the advertisement itself. If the user doesn’t like the landing page that you are sending them to they are less likely to take action on that page.

Oh, by the way, goldfish now have a longer attention span than humans. If your website doesn’t appeal to the user in less than 4 seconds, they are gone.

I’m predicting that in the near future your Facebook relevancy score will also be determined by the quality of the landing page that you are directing traffic to.

Of course, your ads won’t work well if your Facebook page is not set up correctly. That is why we created a social media checklist that walks you through the most important steps of setting up your Facebook page. Get your social media checklist below!

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