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Facebook's New Ads Relevance Score Will Determine Your Ad Cost & Placement

Starting this week, Facebook advertisers will see a new Relevance Score metric, the equivalent of Google's AdWords Quality Score, in their ad reporting dashboard. This new score is an important ad quality signal that will affect both your ad delivery and the cost you pay for your campaigns.

Facebook will use feedback from ad viewers to determine this score on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest possible score.

How Does Facebook's Relevance Score Work?

Both positive and negative ad feedback factor into the Relevance Score equation. Positive interactions might include video views, conversions and other factors, depending on the type of ad you're running. When people hide or report your ad, your Relevance Score will suffer.

Image source: Facebook

Facebook promises that the score is updated on a continual basis, as people view and interact with your ads.

Not all ads will have a Relevance Score, though – ads with guaranteed delivery will not be affected.

Everyone else will see this new metric appearing in their ads reporting tools and in third-party API tools beginning this week, as Facebook works through the global rollout.

What Does Relevance Score Actually Do?

In their feature announcement, Facebook said the higher your Relevance Score, the lower your cost of ad delivery. They want to show users the most relevant ads possible, so they're giving you a reward for quality, relevant ads here. On the other hand, if your ads are poorly targeted or not resonating with your audience, expect to pay more for clicks and impressions from now on!

Advertisers will want to keep a close eye on Relevance Scores throughout the life of each campaign. If your scores are slipping, your ad delivery will suffer and costs will increase.

How to Use Relevance Scores

Facebook cautions that you shouldn't use Relevance Score as the primary indicator of ad performance (which I think is total nonsense heh), but then Google says that about Quality Score, too. Clearly, they want to downplay its importance since they still want you to spend on poor quality ads, but believe me when I say the factor that determines your ad placement and cost is pretty damn important!

Before launching a full campaign, test out your ads with small audiences to see which combinations of creative and targeting produce the greatest Relevance Score. Other metrics still matter, of course – cost, conversion, and reach among them.

This one metric is going to be massively impactful, though. It plays a role in how often your ad will appear and whether it will appear at all. It will guide your CPC and CPM. I'm pretty crazy about AdWords Quality Score for these same reasons – you can't underestimate the power of this score.

Remember, too, that bids still matter. On Facebook, ads with low Relevance Score but a high bid might still beat out the ad with the high RS and lower bid - I'll be busy reverse engineering the exact formula in the next few weeks. 

Are you excited to see a quality score-type metric available to Facebook advertisers? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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