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Lori Ballen is a member of the Amazon Associates Program and earns money from qualifying purchases. Posts contain affiliate links that benefit Lori as well.

Computer is on a table with a plant, books, money jar, coffee mug. Grey wall with a lot of blank space. Computer screen reads "Facebook Relevance Score Higher Score = Less Spend!"Many people rely on social media to keep in touch with friends and show off pictures of their family, and also discover new products and communicate with their favorite brands.

Savvy real estate agents understand this, and the best are able to engage with their social media friends and followers to increase their recommendations and completion rates.

With ads designed to engage members of their target demographic, many advertisers are able to see their website traffic increase.

If you aren’t sure where to start, here are some steps to take to help improve your Relevance Score on Facebook.

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Nutshell:

  • Higher Relevance Score means lower cost per click.
  • You get a higher score by placing better ads, choosing the right audience, and keeping ad frequency low
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What is the Relevance Score? 

Your ads might be worthy of a Clio or Effie Award, but if you aren’t reaching your target audience, they aren’t effective. You might have the most exciting description of retirement condo properties, but if your ads are popping up in the feeds of young professionals, then you aren’t relevant and you aren’t attracting customers.

Relevance doesn’t indicate quality in this case – instead, it determines whether your target client considers your ad’s information relevant to them, and thus engaging with it.

Facebook’s Relevance Score indicates where your ad placement is in relation to your target demographic. It measures both the quality of and engagement in your advertising.

Relevance score also calculates your cost-per-click on the ads, as well as how often Facebook populates your ad in news feeds. Your score is based on a scale to one to ten, ten being highest.

A higher score means your ad is high quality and grabs the attention of your target customer, therefore the ad will be shown more often. that.

Score calculated

Relevance score, determined with a value between one and ten, is more subjective than a quality score you would receive from AdWords. This Adwords Quality Score comprises your expected click-through rate (CTR), the ad relevance, and the landing page experience after the visitor has clicked through (versus arriving at your website independently of the ad).

Facebook ad scores are a little different – they’re based on the positive and negative feedback the algorithm is expected to have.

The Facebook Relevance Score is determined after your ad has been displayed to 500 unique users. Facebook uses the feedback from these users to predict the general audience reaction to your ad’s creative aspect.

Please note: if you selected manual ad placement, or if your budget is small (meaning limited placement), then it could take a while to reach the 500 user mark.

Instead of basing the relevance score on actual user interaction (that is, likes, shares, comments, views, and clocks), Facebook scores your ad based on its ability to accomplish your campaign goal (for instance, positive feedback including “likes” and shares) and having that desired action taken or if your ad is hidden or flagged (negative feedback). The relevance score expresses your anticipated positive feedback and negative feedback responses.

What it does

It may seem that your Facebook relevance score is just a number, something that’s an interesting statistic, versus a usable metric for advertising. This isn’t the case at all.

Your relevance score can have a direct effect on your advertising costs, as increased relevance drops your price-per-click rate.

When this function of Facebook has to determine which ads to populate in each user’s news feed, it typically selects ads that relate to the user.

It’s beneficial to advertisers for the algorithmic functions to find users that match the profile of a client’s target customer; and beneficial to Facebook users to see advertising for products and services that they might be interested in trying. Despite many people saying how much the “hate ads,” many Facebook users do, in fact, engage with these ads and follow up to inspect what those companies offer.

I don’t talk much about the house either, I mostly talk about them, so like, do you live in the area? How long have you lived here, what do you like about living here? If you were going to move somewhere where would you move to? You know, things like that.

If Facebook has a choice between displaying your ads and those of your competitor, they’ll always prefer to display ads that they consider relevant to the user. If your ad is not – that is, if your ads are receiving low relevance scores – your advertising costs will in cease, as the ads won’t populate as often.

Type of Ads

Essentially, a good ad, with a decent design and readable, engaging copy, should receive a decent relevance score.

Ads that are perfectly targeted to your key audience will receive the highest relevance scores. Your ads are scored as a moving target – more clicks through to your homepage from the Facebook ad will result in a higher score and more requests to hide the ad or reports will cause the score to drop.

Although the score for each of your ads can change, it’s an aggregate of the user interactions with your ad that determine your Facebook relevance score.

Assuming that you’ve set your target demographic correctly, you’ll need ad copy that clearly appeals to those clients. Part of your business plan should be a profile of what your target customer is.

Your ad copy should appeal to needs those customers have. For instance, if you are selling retirement community properties, then design your ad to be easily understood by seniors.

For real estate agents who specialize in finding starter homes for newlyweds and small families, then your ad verbiage should be more on-trend and appeal to a younger crowd.

Ads that resonate with your audience will receive higher relevance scores. Engaging copy and relatable, inoffensive images are always a safe bet. An ad that will increase relevance scores generally is attractive but not overly imposing and has a clear, enticing Call-To-Action (CTA) in either the headline or sub-header.

Ad Design

Using different tones of voice for your advertising – from formal to conversational, including slang where appropriate, can also help you tailor your ads.

Using impactful language and powerful verbs in your opener will grab attention, while a personal greeting to a specific aspect of your target’s personality may lend authenticity.

You may also want to consider splitting your headline from your CTA depending on the feedback you receive from your test panel.

The images that you use for your ad are as important as the copy. Often, people have emotional, visceral reactions (both positive and negative) to the images in your ad that they can’t necessarily put into words.

This is when you’ll hear “I just like it.”

Many successful brands realize that people may have an emotional connection to their favorite brands, and encourage this connection through the use of images that reinforce the brand image.

Using the real estate agent example again,  you may be tempted to place your headshot on your ads, but consider a simple still photo of a well-landscaped home, with a wrap around porch and bright green lawn.

It’s an appealing façade, with the implication that the homes you are selling are safe and perfect for a “forever home.”

Many professional freelance ad companies will have a whole library of images that can be used for background – if you don’t feel comfortable designing your own ad, the company can create several for you to choose from, including images. In general, happy women, colorful logos, and self-portraits tend to convert the best.

Relatable photos of pets and children also convert well, and situational photos of an item in use tend to trump traditional product photography. Perhaps you can have your headshot after all!

Split Testing

Split testing is how you – or your advertising department – can determine which of several ads, headlines, and CTAs will result in the most positive feedback, including clicks through to the landing page. With a small sample panel, display several iterations of your proposed ad, with a similar message, yet different ways of conveying your information.

Sometimes the ads that we think will knock it out of the park fail to impress, while ones we aren’t sure of quickly gain traction. Testing with a sample panel consisting of your target demographic will help you tweak your ads to increase their relevance.

When you test for copy, run three or four ads with the same image – for instance, a brick home with a porch – and differ verbiage. One blurb may emphasize low mortgage rates, another may mention family-friendly neighborhoods. A third blurb might highlight a different aspect of your agency. With the same image as a “control” for your experiment, you can decide which ad copy to use based on the feedback you receive from each of these ads.

Ensure that all your copy has a CTA, so that the focus on clicks to the home page is here too.

Split testing for the right image is similar to the copy testing – use “control” text, and take a poll or survey on which image is most appealing. When you’ve gotten your desired copy and image, then you should have an ad that’s visually appealing, with a clear call to action and engaging for your target demographic.

Costs

While it may seem like outsourcing to an advertising agency and taking the time to test your ad copy may be outside your marketing budget, it’s actually fiscally savvy to have a targeted, relevant ad. With a pay-per-click budget, an ad that’s targeted specifically to your target demographic – for instance, people who are ready to buy homes or who are considering selling– will increase your CTR.

The higher your relevance score, then lower your per-click cost, as well.

The manner in which Facebook’s Relevance Score is calculated makes it a dependent metric of an ad’s success, versus a stand-alone measure. Instead of measuring the number of clicks or impressions, it’s actually calculated on its potential – the Relevance Score doesn’t affect the number of clicks your ad will receive; instead, it’s the opposite.

Your ad’s engagement determines the relevance score, which in turn will ensure that the ad is shown more often as the score increases.

It seems circular, but basically the more relevant your ad, the more times it will run and the cheaper your cost per click becomes. So making a one-time investment in a very relevant ad quickly pays off.

The metrics 

  • Negative Signals: These occur when a user “hides” you ad from their newsfeed or reports it
  • Campaign Objective: The purpose of your ad. Are you looking for Likes, Shares, Conversions, or Website Clicks? The better you perform on your campaign’s goal, the higher your relevance score.
  • CTR: Your Click-Through Rate adds to your relevance score. Higher CTR results in higher relevance, as users clearly show that the ad is engaging with them.
  • Shares: Users don’t typically share an ad unless there is an appealing CTA for doing so, or unless the content is exceptionally good. There seems to be a strong correlation between the shares an ad receives and its relevance.
  • Likes and Comments: Although the correlation between these two is inferred, Likes tend to increase relevance score. Comments may be a bit trickier because without understanding the context, it’s tough to attribute them a positive or negative value.

Strategies to improve your ad’s Relevance Score

There are several things that you can do to improve your ad’s score, drop your advertising costs, and increase your conversion rate.

First, decrease your frequency. Too much exposure leads to users simply blocking your ad because they’re tired of seeing it. Five seems to be the magic number where the number of views begins to affect the Cost-Per-Click (inferring that the Relevance Score is dropping due to negative feedback).

Design your ads with the personality of your target client and secondary clients in mind. Many ad companies will help you give characteristics to your ideal buyer – for real estate, you’ll look for those with the means and interest in buying the types of property you’re selling.

Using Facebook’s Audience Insight, you can create as many details about the buyer persona as possible and run these through a competitive analysis. You’ll use this person to design your ads based on your target client’s persona and “pain points” – a negative call to action.

Finally, run your ads at strategic times of the day. When is your target client scrolling through their newsfeed? For home buyers and sellers, most likely during their commute, although each demographic is different. Once you have a grasp on your audience’s “pain points” and personality, you can determine the best times to have your ad run.

To get a better idea of when to run, use the Facebook Insights feature. When you find the “downtime” for your target audience, there’s a feature allowing you to pause your ad.

Your Facebook Relevance Score can dramatically increase the effectiveness of your social media advertising, and with so many details provided to advertisers by social media users, you can easily determine the right demographic for your ad, as well as the right individuals to put your ad in front of. Increasing your Relevance Score leads to increased site visitors and conversions.

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