Cracking the Facebook Ads Algorithm – The One Metric That Matters Most



The Facebook ads algorithm often feels like a big mystery – and that’s intentional on their part. Facebook takes great efforts to keep their methods a secret, but what are you supposed to do as a business owner just trying to reach potential customers?!

Not to worry we will break it down for you. Through countless campaigns and lots of research we’ve found the best metric to help your ads reach more people. This metric is called Relevance Score. According to Facebook, the Relevance Score is:

“A rating from 1 to 10 that estimates how well your target audience is responding to your advert. This score is shown after your advert receives more than 500 impressions. It’s only visible when looking at reporting for adverts and does not appear for advert sets and campaigns.”

What is a Relevance Score and Why Is It Important?

Basically, this score estimates how well your ad is resonating with the people you want to reach. The higher your ad’s relevance score (a score of 1-10), the better it’s considered to be performing. When your ad has a higher score, research shows Facebook will send that ad to more users, resulting in more likes on the ad and a higher reach.

You get annoyed when ads come across your feed that have no relation to your interests, right? Relevance score is Facebook’s effort to ensure ads are targeted to the right audience.

A higher Relevance Score means Facebook will serve your ad to higher numbers of your target audience. If you are wondering why you spent $50 on an ad and only 1 person clicked your link it is probably because you have a low relevance score. A higher relevance score means you get more value for your money. This can be the difference between paying pennies per click or $20 per click. Are you seeing the importance now?

High relevance score means your ad will reach more of your targeted audience – and that they are more likely to take the desired action such as liking your page, clicking through to your website or buying your product. If your score is low it means you’re targeting the wrong people and you need to rethink your advertising strategy. An ad with a higher relevance score will save you money in the long run, because you won’t be wasting it sending your ad to people who aren’t interested.

How Is My Score Determined?

First, your ad needs to reach 500 people before the score can be determined. You can find the score in your Facebook Ads Manager, under “Ads.”

Unfortunately, there’s no definite answer on how your Relevance Score is created. It has to do with many factors. Facebook makes predictions based on how it thinks your audience will react to your ad. They look at expected positive and negative feedback to determine the score.

Positive feedback is the number of times Facebook thinks people will engage with your ad, like:

  • Share your ad
  • Like your ad
  • Click your CTA (call-to-action)
  • Watch your ad’s video (if there is one)

Negative feedback consists of how many times Facebook expects members of your audience to take negative actions, like:

  • Hide your ad
  • Choose to stop being served ads from your business

They make these predictions based on a few aspects of the ad, including:

  • How specific your ad targeting is
  • Image quality
  • Message quality (Facebook likes specific, concise ad copy – bonus points for a clear CTA button)

I Found My Relevance Score – Now What?

If your score is high (7-10 range), congrats! Your ad is targeted well and you’re reaching the right potential customers. The score is not static, however, and it can change over time. So you’ll need to keep an eye on it and see if it dips below a 7.

If your ad is in the lower range, don’t panic. There are a three common reasons your score is not as high as you like:

  • Your audience targeting is off
  • Your messaging is off
  • Your offer is off


Improve Audience Targeting:

With audience targeting, reconsider your “buyer persona,” and make sure you’re well aware of their demographic information, problems and pain points, as well as customer feedback you’ve received.

Armed with this data, make a super-specific audience for your ad. You might be tempted to choose a lot of broad topics, like “exercise” or “restaurants,” but that will hurt you more. Research which magazines and blogs your customers read, who they follow on Twitter, and which related products they buy. If you use laser-focused interests like these, you’ll reach the people who are most interested in your topic and the most willing to spend money on it. Facebook allows you to choose very specific interests, so take advantage of that.



Improve Your Messaging:

Your ad, more than anything, needs to be visually appealing.You can write the most amazing copy in the world, but if your image doesn’t catch a user’s eye, you won’t get any clicks. Don’t settle on boring stock images – use bright, bold images that feature people’s faces or a stunning home. Side note: Make sure you only use images that you are legally allowed to use. When you pay for an ad you cross a very clear legal line. It is illegal to use an image that you don’t own or are not licensed to use in any sort of advertisement.


Improve Your Offer:

It could be that what you’re offering just isn’t of interest or value to your target audience. Consider promoting a different aspect of your business, offering a different type of discount, or another offer. This is a good place to try some A/B testing with your ad and see if a different offer performs better.

The “game” of the Facebook ads algorithm can be frustrating for all businesses. But if you keep tweaking your ads, pay attention to how they are performing, and listening to your audience, you’ll be able to master it!

Want new articles before they get published?
Subscribe to our Awesome Newsletter.

Get access to our best marketing tips.

Enter your email below and we will send them to you once per month.

You have Successfully Subscribed!