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Now, Facebook has a really long article on Relevance Scores and how they are calculated, but I wanted to give you the short and sweet version – but more importantly share some practical tips for you to use.

You can check out the full Facebook outline here. 

If you’re relevance score is awful from the get go, or you don’t know what it is – check out our previous article “The importance of your relevance score” for all the key things you need to know.

So, back to the algorithm.

Think about it this way, there are a limited number of ad spots in each individual user’s feed. As an advertiser you are competing against other advertisers for those limited spaces. Now, consider the audience you are targeting on Facebook, who else would be trying to reach them?

Basically, what “competition” do you have for the ad spot you’re looking at?

Keep in mind that Facebook’s main priority is to keep the general user base happy, that always comes first. So, if you’ve got an ad with dodgy graphics, reaching a very broad audience, you will be up against some pretty tough competition – and you’re going to lose.

Facebook will rank your ad for image quality, targeting, and user experience to give your ad a score, The Relevance Score – this score is factored in with your budget (and a few other items) to determine how relevant it thinks your ad is and how many people it can show your ad to.

Now, I’ve seen plenty of ads where they still got results with a terrible relevance score, it usually happens in a quieter niche or location where competition isn’t so fierce. So it is possible to have a campaign that works with a lower relevance score – but it certainly isn’t ideal – plus it’ll be costing you much more just to reach those people.

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Facebook prioritizes the better ads, as they create a better user experience, so while your ad may still be shown with your low relevance score and higher budget, you’ll be spending much more to get there.

Important Note:

Your relevance score is updated daily once you’ve reached the 500 reach threshold. Which leads us to the other main reason why you’ll have a low relevance score. 

If you have a small audience, and after 2 weeks everyone in that audience has seen your ad, it’s likely that your relevance score will drop. It’s not that your targeting is off, or that your ad sucks – but now, it’s because your ad is boring and old, and it’s been seen before. 

Simple fix: Update your visuals and copy, even a minor adjustment can bring your relevance score back to life, OR test a new audience type (even try a LLA of the original audience!)

What to do to get a high relevance score:

  1. Consider who you’re up against, and make your ad better
  2. Get your targeting right – broad enough that you have decent reach, narrow enough that your ad is ONLY being seen by people who may be interested
  3. Use high quality, relevant graphics
  4. Speak to your customer in the ad copy – talk to that person directly
  5. Keep an eye on your score, what was once a 10 ad may start to drop, that’s when you need to make a change.

Still stuck?

Book in a time to chat, the data nerd side of my brain loves this stuff, so looking at the various numbers of your campaign, it’s relatively easy for me to see what’s going wrong and where we can make improvements.

And yes, it’s free to chat! – Book a time here.

Dahna Borg

Author Dahna Borg

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