The Facebook relevance score is a 1-10 metric that shows your audience’s reaction to an advertising campaign.
As you might have expected, a high relevance score can make your Facebook ad campaign amazingly successful…
While a low relevance score may lead to Facebook restricting your ads’ reach.
In the past years, Facebook has been working on making its relevance score more accurately reflective of every single ad’s quality.
This is why everyone marketing on Facebook can benefit from knowing how exactly the Facebook relevance score is calculated, how it affects the ads’ reach, and how a high relevance score can lower the campaign’s CPC and CPA.
In this guide, you will find out why the Facebook relevance score matters and how to ensure that your ads get a 5-point or higher score on the total scale of 1-10.
What Is Facebook Relevance Score? (And Why It Matters)
Facebook first introduced the relevance score back in 2015.
The social media platform understood that in order for its advertisers and users to be happy, it would make sense to serve people the ads that are most relevant to them.
With multiple advertisers trying to reach overlapping audiences, the one with the highest bid and also the most relevant ads would win.
According to Facebook:
“Your relevance score estimates how well your ad is resonating with the people you want to reach. The higher your ad’s relevance score, the better it’s considered to be performing.”
Ads with the relevance score of 1-3 are estimated rather irrelevant to your Facebook campaign’s audience. Ads with scores of 8-10 are evaluated as highly relevant to your audience.
Facebook calculated relevance scores on several factors, including:
- How well your ad is performing – is it bringing the conversions you’ve optimized for?
- Positive feedback from people who see your ad – app installs, clicks, video views, etc.
- Negative feedback – e.g. when someone clicks “I don’t want to see this” on your ads
You can check your Facebook ads’ relevance score in Facebook Ads Manager reports by selecting the “Performance and Clicks” standard report.
As you select the “Performance and Clicks” report, one of the columns will display your relevance score. Note that you need to watch the ad-level reports (not campaign or ad set level) to see the relevance score of every ad.
Having a high Facebook relevance score is beneficial in several ways:
- Your ads will reach a wider audience at lower costs.
- You can measure it when A/B testing several ad designs/copy.
- You can monitor the relevance score and use it for campaign optimization.
- You can use the score to discover the perfect target audience.
AdEspresso set up an experiment to measure how relevance score affects the ads’ cost-per-click.
One of their Facebook ads had the relevance score of 2.9 points.
The other ad had the relevance score of 8.0 points.
And guess what – the ad with 2.9-point relevance score resulted in the avg. cost-per-click of $0.142 while the ad with 8.0-point score has the CPC of $0.03.
The Facebook ad variation with a higher relevance score resulted in over 400% better ROI.
What Is a Good Facebook Ad Relevance Score?
When AdEspresso analyzed 104,256 Facebook ads to see what’s the average relevance score, they discovered that most ads fell into the category of 6-10 points.
However, there were also many ads that scored only between 1-3 points.
Perhaps, the most fascinating discovery in AdEspresso’s study is that the cost-per-click already significantly falls as the relevance score hits 2 points instead of 1.
There’s a huge difference between irrelevant ads’ CPC and the cost-per-click on ads with a 9 or 10-point relevance score.
Here’s the full breakdown of Facebook relevance scores and the average advertising costs related to them.
What are all these results telling us about the perfect Facebook relevance score?
Well, there are a couple of key takeaways here:
- Relevance score of 1 point has a pretty damaging effect on your campaign’s ROI.
- If you’re able to receive the relevance score of 2-4 points, you’re already getting pretty good results.
- Relevance scores falling between 5-8 points will all get you good results and the higher scores you’re able to get, the better.
- The 10-point score isn’t unusual for well-targeted and relevant ad campaigns. The ultimate relevance score results in times better advertising ROI.
How to Get Higher Facebook Relevance Scores
If you’ve been following along this far into the guide, that’s likely the most important question haunting your right now.
In other words, the question on the table is this: How to make people love your ads?
A high Facebook ad relevance score can be achieved by:
- Targeting the right Facebook audience
- Offering something of value to your audience
- Making your ads eye-catching and attractive
Up next, we’re going to share the top 27 hacks that will help you get skyrocketing relevance scores.
1) Understand Your Target Audience
When it comes to PPC advertising platforms, Facebook offers some of the most granular options for reaching the right target audience.
From Saved Audiences to Lookalike Audiences and Custom Audiences, you’ll have the opportunity to reach both new audiences and the people already familiar with your brand.
All things considered, finding the right Facebook target audience is paramount for getting high relevance scores.
According to an article on the Content Marketing Institute blog, you should define your buyer personas by thinking about nine different aspects:
- Day in the life
- Keywords and phrases
- Engagement scenarios
Once you’re able to communicate the daily obstacles and interests of your potential buyers, you’ll also find it easier to put together new audiences on Facebook.
2) Create Advanced Facebook Audiences
When creating new Facebook marketing audiences, don’t let yourself be limited to Saved Audiences (the interest-based audiences that are the easiest to create, but not necessarily the most efficient ones).
Targeting large cold audiences (500k+ people) is a recipe for low relevance scores.
Luckily for you, there’s no need for you to go down that path.
You can benefit from Facebook’s Lookalike and Custom Audiences by setting up efficient remarketing campaigns, successful brand awareness campaigns, etc.
Moreover, Facebook recently added a new option called Value-Based Lookalike Audiences.
Value-Based Lookalike Audiences let you target people who are most similar to your current customers with a high LTV (Lifetime Value).
It’s one step further from the regular Lookalike Audiences that let you target people who are most likely to convert on your offers, because they resemble a set of your past converters.
If you want to learn more about creating Value-Based Lookalike Audiences, see this guide by Facebook.
3) Segment Your Target Audiences
With the knowhow of advanced Facebook audiences comes the opportunity of setting up a large number of high-ROI audience segments.
Think of it as building your audiences out of small Lego blocks instead of large bricks.
For example, instead of promoting a blog article on productivity at work to a large Saved Audience of people interested in productivity, you could advertise the article to your past blog readers who have read articles on related topics in the past.
You can also use the mille feuille Facebook ad strategy to create highly granular audiences via a multi-layer setup.
Here’s how the mille feuille tactic works:
- You create a Facebook Custom Audience
- You’ll add additional targeting criteria by creating a Saved Audience that includes that Custom Audience
Advanced Facebook targeting lets you segment your ad audiences into smaller segments and deliver them highly relevant ads and offers.
4) Target People Who Have Already Engaged with Your Ads
If your goal is to improve the Facebook relevance score, it would make sense to advertise to people most likely to engage with your ads.
And in fact, you can do exactly that by creating a Facebook retargeting audience of people who have previously engaged with your Facebook posts or ads.
For example, you could people who have:
- Visited your Facebook page
- Engaged with specific posts or ads
- Clicked on a call-to-action button
- Sent a message to your page
- Saved a page or any post
This tactic is highly beneficial when promoting blog content on Facebook like Ahrefs is doing.
You could target your Facebook ads toward people who have previously liked or clicked similar posts or ads related to your Facebook page.
The same tactic can be applied to the Video and Canvas ads you’re promoting via Facebook’s ad network.
Tip: The remarketing to engagement-based Custom Audiences make sure your audiences are large enough to be worth the time spent on segmenting and campaign setup (at least 200 people per audience).
5) Exclude Converters from Your Target Audience
If you keep showing your Facebook ad to a person who’s already converted on it, there might come a point where they get so annoyed that they’ll hit the “Hide ad” button to get rid of it.
Even worse if the annoyed audience member checks the “It’s misleading, offensive or inappropriate” checkbox.
Accumulating negative feedback could have a damaging effect on your Facebook ads’ relevance score.
The easiest way to keep this bad-case scenario from happening is to exclude the converters from your Facebook campaign’s audience.
For example, if you’re promoting a free eBook and someone downloads it, you should take an additional step to exclude them from the ads’ audience.
Here’s how to exclude the past converters from your Facebook audiences:
- Create a Facebook Custom Audience of people who have visited specific web pages (e.g. your download thank you page or a blog article).
- Use the EXCLUDE feature when setting up your ad campaign’s audience to stop targeting people who have already converted on this particular offer.
Once you’ve excluded converters from your Facebook ads audience, all your budget will be spent on reaching the people who haven’t yet converted, helping to lower the CPC further.
6) Don’t Forget to Optimize Your Facebook Post’s Audience
While Facebook only shows the relevance score of your ads, the engagement levels also affect the organic reach of your Facebook page posts.
If you want your Facebook posts to reach more people, you should also consider optimizing the post’s target audience.
The Automated Audience Optimization is a fairly new feature that only a few advertisers know how to use.
And of course, we’re going to show you this secret Facebook ad hack.
When adding a new post to your brand’s Facebook page, you can click on a little target icon to choose the preferred target audience for this particular Facebook post.
Once you click on the icon, a new pop-up window will appear where you can optimize your post’s target audience based on interests.
You can also set audience restrictions to tell Facebook who is allowed to see your posts. For example, you can set the age, language, and location of a post’s target audience.
How to activate the Automated Audience Optimization:
If your Facebook page has more than 5,000 likes, the Audience Optimization has already been activated on your account.
If your page has fewer than 5,000 likes, click the “Settings” tab in the top right corner of your Facebook page. From the “General” tab, you’ll see a row for “Audience Optimization for Posts.”
Click on “Edit” and check the box to activate the Audience Optimization. Then, hit the “Save Changes” button.
The next time you’re sharing an update on Facebook, apply the Audience Optimization to reach the fans most interested in your post.
7) A/B Test Your Way to The Right Audience
If after all these hacks, you’re ever more confused about finding the perfect Facebook target audience, consider running an A/B test.
When it comes to Facebook ad testing, you can experiment with different audiences on the ad set level.
For example, AdEspresso did an experiment where they tested three different Facebook Lookalike Audiences:
- Lookalike Audience of 1% of people in the U.S.
- Lookalike Audience of 5% of people in the U.S.
- Lookalike Audience of 10% of people in the U.S.
After analyzing each campaign’s results, here’s what they found:
- The 1% Lookalike Audience had the cost-per-lead of $3.748.
- The 5% Lookalike Audience had the cost-per-lead of $4.162.
- The 10% Lookalike Audience had the cost-per-lead of $6.364.
As you can see, even testing different variations of the same Facebook audience type could result in different engagement levels, CPC, and respectively the relevance score.
Best practices for A/B testing multiple Facebook audiences:
- Create at least 2 target audiences with little or no audience overlap.
- Use the EXCLUDE feature to exclude Custom audiences (to avoid audience overlap).
- Keep each test audience large enough to deliver sufficient results. A 1000-people audience might not be the best idea when split testing vs. a 400,000-people audience.
- Test with different audience types: Saved Audiences, Custom Audiences, Lookalike Audiences.
Tip: When evaluating the ROI of multiple Facebook audiences, look at the cost-per-conversion first. Only then, proceed to additional metrics such as relevance score, CPC, CTR, etc.
8) Match Your Ad Offers with the Audience
The key to higher Facebook ad relevance scores is creating and delivering ads that resonate with their audiences.
But what’s the key to creating Facebook ads that resonate?
I would argue that it all starts with understanding your Facebook marketing funnel and the PPC channel temperature.
When targeting cold audiences, offer them low-commitment ads and content such as guides, eBooks, blog articles, etc.
When retargeting people who have already visited your landing pages and shown some interest in your product, you could address them with a more sales-focused offer.
9) Improve Your Facebook Ads’ UVP
If you want a person to click on your Facebook ad, you need to give them a good reason to do so.
After all, they’re going to invest both their time and attention by making the click.
That’s where your UVP – unique value proposition – enters the game.
For example, Jobbatical’s UVP is centered around working abroad and living in a new city. That could be a highly attractive offer to Jobbatical’s target audience – digital nomads.
Your value proposition should emphasize your product’s benefits relevant to the target audience. Once a person finds your offer interesting, they’ll click on your Facebook ad to find out more.
And as you already, know, the click-through-rate is one of the ingredients of your Facebook ads’ relevance score.
10) Write Irresistible Headlines
Your Facebook ad headline is one of the first ad elements to catch the viewers’ attention.
A headline can make or break your campaign as it has a huge effect on your ad’s click-through rate.
Tip: Write headlines with odd numbers. Outbrain’s research shows that headlines with odd numbers have a 20% higher clickthrough rate than headlines with even numbers.
That’s why, as you may have noticed, we always prefer to keep our blog posts exhaustive and use headlines with odd numbers.
11) Make Your Ad Copy About the Customer
When writing Facebook ad copy, think about your customers – what’s relevant to them?
For example, Google’s Facebook ad emphasizes that their offer is about you, you, and only you.
However, you don’t need to take this suggestion that literally. What we meant by the customer focus is that you should always be thinking what would make your target audience members interested in the offer.
Here’s another example by Metrilo, promising to help coffee store owners sell more.
Think what are the greatest problems but also dreams of your potential buyers. Then, show how your product can improve their lives.
12) Make Your Ad Copy Highly Actionable
Using action verbs in your Facebook ad copy can help you engage a larger percentage of ad viewers.
The decision-making part of our brain also happens to be the most primitive, making it act on simple and actionable words.
That’s why, you should test including action words such as:
Blue Bottle Coffee, for instance, has included the “Try It For Free” sign in their Facebook ad’s headline.
Buffer’s put together a massive list of 189 magnetic words that will help you come up with highly converting Facebook ad copy.
13) Play With the Sense of Urgency
An article in the Wall Street Journal suggests that it takes about 20 minutes for the power of excitement to pass.
This means that you need to convert people fast while they’re still excited about your offer.
To add a touch of urgency to your Facebook ad copy (and make more people engage with your ads), try these hacks:
- Define clear dates, e.g. “Today only” or “Offer ends in 24h.”
- Offer a significant discount, e.g. “Get 60% off today.”
- Keep your offer simple and brief.
- Place your offer in the ad’s headline or the image.
HubSpot is offering a limited-time 20% discount on the growth stack. The entire ad copy is focused on creating urgency: the ad copy starts with the words “Don’t miss out!”
Here’s another wonderful example by Groupon, mixing multiple hacks together for the ultimate click and sales magnet.
Tip: Try offering a free extra such as free shipping. When the online store 2BigFeet introduced free shipping for orders over $100, their conversions went up 50%.
Getting people to act upon your limited-time offer will get easier once you remove all the possible obstacles such as expensive shipping.
14) Experiment with Various Call-to-Action
When A/B testing Facebook ads, SaaS startup Scoro discovered that the ad with the “Sign Up” CTA outperformed the ad with the “Learn More” CTA by 14.5%.
Your Facebook ads’ call-to-actions could potentially affect your relevance score, helping to increase the engagement rate.
Michael Aagaard has been doing multitude of CTA button tests for the past four years. After concluding test after test, he has come up with two questions that help to uncover the best CTA:
- What is my prospect’s motivation for clicking this button?
- What is my prospect going to get when (s)he clicks this button?
Try to find the right CTA that matches your Facebook ad audience’s motivation. For example, when promoting sales in their online store, ASOS uses the “Shop Now” call-to-action button.
Tip: You can also include call-to-actions in your ad copy, e.g. in your Facebook ad’s headline.
15) Create Highly Visible Ad Images
Consumer Acquisition has found that images are arguably the most important part of your ads. They’re responsible for 75%-90% of your ad performance.
And by ad performance (e.g. number of clicks), we also mean the Facebook ad relevance score.
To make your Facebook ads easily noticeable in the newsfeed, you could either create highly colorful and contrasting ads like Asana…
… Or go the other way round and use Udemy’s approach of using simple ad designs with a white background that catch the eye when seen between photos from friends and other brands.
Tip: Notice how much more advertising real estate Udemy’s ad takes up? You can also test an extended Facebook ad copy to see whether it helps to improve your relevance score.
16) A/B Test Your Way to Engaging Ad Layout
The best way to find out what your Facebook audiences like is to show them multiple ads, and measure the click-through rates and relevance scores of each variation.
When A/B testing your Facebook ad elements, follow these three rules:
- Test one ad element at a time – having too many varying options will lead to diluted campaigns and you won’t have enough results to conclude the test results.
- Start by testing the ad elements that you think have the highest impact on your ads’ engagement rate.
- Use the right campaign structure – place all ad variations inside a separate ad set.
In addition to your ad design and value offers, you could also test the ad copy length and eliminating some text boxes for good like Intercom has done.
Tip: If you want your Facebook tests to give valuable insights, put them through an A/B significance test to determine if your results are valid.
Although these tests do not impact relevance score directly, they might indirectly impact it by positively impacting click-through rate.
17) Start Using In-Image Ad Copy
If the image is one of the first things people notice about your Facebook ad, it may be pay off to include your key message in there.
Upwork’s Facebook ad delivers the key value offer right in the ad image: “End payment headaches.”
Don’t forget about Facebook’s rule of keeping ad images light in text. If your ads contain too much text, Facebook will restrict its delivery, resulting in fewer engagements and potentially, a lower relevance score.
Tip: Before uploading your ad image to Facebook, run it through the Text Overlay Tool.
For example, the Facebook ad example by Upwork you saw above has a high text level, meaning that it might reach fewer people’s newsfeeds.
18) Include CTAs in Ad Images
Another element that you could include in the ad image is a call-to-action button that indicates that your Facebook ad is clickable.
A compelling CTA button can go a long way to help you achieve higher Facebook relevance scores – more ad clicks results in higher relevancy.
Marketo is using both in-image text and a CTA to make more people engaged, and hopefully, drive more clicks.
Tip: When including a call-to-action in your ad image, use a contrasting color to make it highly visible.
20) Find the Most Relevant Facebook Ad Type
When setting up your Facebook ad campaign, you’ve likely noticed a wide selection of different ad types:
- Link Click Ads
- Video Ads
- Boosted Page Posts
- Multi-Product (Carousel Ads)
- Dynamic Product Ads (DPA)
- Facebook Lead Ads
- Canvas Ads
- Collection Ads
- Page Like Ads
- Page Post Photo Ads
- Page Post Video Ads
- Event Ads
- Offer Claims
- Local Awareness Ads
Finding the right Facebook ad type that brings up the best in your promoted offer is one of the keys to higher relevance score.
To find the best Facebook ad type for your campaign, you could experiment with different ad types by running a split test.
However, you should also get a good overview of suitable ad types when first thinking about your ad’s key messages and then looking for the ad types that let you best communicate your offer.
For example, when advertising multiple products or features, you might use a Carousel Ad that lets you display multiple image cards within a single ad.
Here’s a Facebook Carousel Ad example by Gusto:
Tip: Before you create the visuals and copy for specific Facebook ad types, check out their specific size and character limits. Here’s an updated Facebook ad types guide by AdEspresso.
21) Create Video Ads Instead of Image Ads
In the past few years, Facebook video consumption has been skyrocketing.
Already in 2016, Facebook was crushing YouTube in the battle for mobile video views.
Facebook did a case study with Refinery29 where they compared the results of two different campaign tactics:
- The first campaign employed creative and images focused strictly on generating subscriptions.
- The other campaign over the same period featured different “sequenced” ads that first told the brand story, next provided product information before inviting people to sign up.
Refinery29 ultimately had an 87% increase in traffic to the landing page and a 56% increase in subscription rate for those people who saw the branding video first.
If you want to increase your Facebook ad relevance score, try introducing video ads to your campaign mix with the goal to improve the CTRs.
Tip: Wistia discovered that as the video length increases, the engagement drops.
That’s why, you should keep your Facebook video ads under 2 minutes, and make the first 30 seconds of video so good that people will want to see the rest.
22) Create Location-Specific Ads
If you’re selling a product or service that’s more relevant to people being in specific locations, you may want to try the Local Awareness campaigns.
For example, UGG Australia wanted to encourage people to visit specific stores, so they used Local Awareness Ads to encourage San Francisco residents and tourists to “Walk, Skip or Dance to 437 Sutter Street.”
According to Jim Davis, VP of consumer engagement at UGG Australia, the ad campaign resulted in a 3X return on ad spend.
The Local Awareness Ads have two main features, making it easier for people to engage with the ad:
- Map card – to share more locally relevant details about your business. The card includes a map pin for your business location, distance to business, hours of operation and a directions link.
- Call-to-action button – select the right CTA, e.g. Get Directions, Call Now, Learn More, and Send Message.
23) Select the Most Relevant Ad Placement
According to AdEspresso’s data, the cost-per-click of your ad campaigns can vary by over 550%, depending on your choice of ad placements.
Currently, there are nine (!) different Facebook ad placements available in the Ads Manager:
- Facebook Desktop Newsfeed
- Facebook Mobile Newsfeed
- The Right-hand Column
- Facebook Instant Articles
- Facebook In-Stream Videos
- Facebook Suggested Videos
- Instagram Feed
- Instagram Stories
- Facebook Audience Network
To reveal your top-performing ad placements, log in to Facebook Ads Manager and use the Breakdown menu to break down your campaigns by Placement.
Sadly, Facebook won’t reveal separate relevance scores for every ad placement, so you’ll need to measure every ad placement performance based on other metrics, e.g. CPC and CTR.
Based on the results, you can take steps optimize your ad campaigns:
- Increase your bids on the top-performing ad placements.
- Create additional ad campaigns targeting your best-performing ad placements.
24) Uncover the Best Advertising Time
There’s a good chance that your Facebook ad offers aren’t relevant to people 24/7.
For example, B2B audiences may not be interested in buying new services and tools during the weekend.
To see which weekdays contribute to the most conversions at the lowest CPA, go to your Facebook Ads Manager reports and use the Breakdown menu to break down your campaigns by Day.
Now, you can see which weekdays resulted in most conversions at the lowest cost.
In addition to measuring the cost-per-acquisition, also check your ads’ click-through-rate as it’s one of the metrics used by Facebook when calculating the relevance score of your ads.
You can set up a custom Facebook advertising schedule during the campaign setup process by checking the “Run ads on a schedule” checkbox.
Up next, you can select the weekdays and time of day when you’d like to have your ads delivered.
Tip: Another benefit of using the custom delivery schedule is that people will see your ads less often and won’t get bored with them as soon.
25) Optimize for the Right Conversion
One of the three Facebook relevance score factors is your ad campaign’s performance.
To calculate this metric, Facebook looks at how many anticipated conversions your campaigns bring.
Note that the relevance score has a smaller impact on advertising costs and delivery in brand awareness campaigns, since those ads are optimized for reaching people, rather than driving a specific action like app installs.
If your Facebook advertising goal is to get link clicks or convert people on your offers, you should select the campaign objective that’s closest to your objective.
This way, all the technical and visual elements of your Facebook ads are optimized for achieving a common goal, leading to more conversions (and a higher relevance score).
26) Avoid the Facebook Ad Fatigue
Ad fatigue happens when people in your target audience has seen your Facebook ads for so many consecutive times that they grow tired of them, maybe even annoyed.
Once you hit the ad fatigue, several things will happen:
- People stop noticing your Facebook ads in their newsfeed – this will also lead to fewer reactions and engagement.
- People stop clicking on your Facebook ads – there goes your high relevance score.
- Your ad campaign’s costs skyrocket – that’s the result of a decreased relevance score.
The easiest way to predict the ad fatigue is to check your Facebook ad frequency – how many times an avg. audience member has seen your ad.
To check this metric, go to the Facebook Ads Manager, click on a campaign, and in the reporting section select the Delivery view.
You should be able to see the ad frequency on a campaign, ad set or ad level in the reporting table.
Tip: Try to keep your Facebook ad frequency under 2-3 points. However, when working with Facebook remarketing campaigns, you can also let your ad frequency go higher. Just keep in mind that just because something is relevant, doesn’t mean I need to see it 20 times.
27) Frequently Introduce New Ads to the Mix
Another way to keep your Facebook relevance score up is to constantly add new engaging ads and offer to your Facebook campaigns.
That’s also one of the best Facebook ad strategies for fighting the ad fatigue.
For example, in the past 12 months, SaaS startup Scoro has tested tens of different ad copies and designs to keep their audiences engaged in the long term.
You can add new ads inside your existing campaigns or set up new Facebook campaigns that include only the new designs or offers. By adding in variations, you can discover what conveys relevance in a visual way.
Make it a habit to develop a couple of new designs or offers every couple of months to keep your idea muscles and relevance scores in shape.
Final Words on Facebook Relevance Score
While Facebook relevance score is inarguably an important campaign metric to measure, don’t forget to check other important factors such as the cost-per-result of your ads.
“While understanding relevance scores has real benefits for advertisers, it’s important to keep this metric in perspective. Relevance scores should not be used as the primary indicator of an ad’s performance. As has long been the case on Facebook, the most important factor for success is bidding based on the business goal you hope to meet with an ad.”
We’d be thrilled to hear about your findings on the relevance score and what hacks you use to increase the score. Leave us a note in the comments.