How to Spend Less on Your Facebook Ads by Looking at These Three (new!) Things

You are in for a treat! We got the chance to sit down with super detailed data dude, aka our superstar Mentor from Brisbane, Vlad to talk about the changes to the Facebook Ads relevance score.

A few months ago, Facebook started phasing out the ‘relevance score’ as one of the reporting columns in Ads Manager. It is still available in some areas, but is slowly being replaced with three new columns. In case you weren’t aware ‘Relevance score’ is a score from 1-10 for rating how well your ad is in terms of ‘message-to-market’ match.Facebook ads relevance score that will be phased out

Basically, it tells you how well your audience responds to your ad. There is a correlation between a higher score and a lower cost per click (CPC) as well as a higher click through rate (CTR). This is/was a metric (among a number of others) that we always encourage our clients to monitor once they get their ad campaign running. It provides a snapshot (in an abstract manner) as to why your ad is performing the way it is.

That was then, this is now.

Quality ranking

Facebook has now introduced three new metrics to replace the ‘Relevance score’. The driving force behind this change is to provide the advertiser with an actual diagnostic tool. This ultimately provides you with data to identify exactly which aspect of the ad you need to refine in order to achieve your advertising objectives. 

Facebook Ads Relevance Score UpdatesQuality metrics

The three new ranking metrics are:

  1.  Quality Ranking – how the quality of your ad compares to ads created to compete against the same audience you are targeting
  2.   Engagement Rate Ranking – how your ad’s engagement rate compares to ads created to compete against the same audience you are targeting
  3.   Conversion ranking – how your conversion rate compares to ads created with the same optimisation goal to compete against the same audience you are targeting

 These metrics only apply to ads and NOT ad sets or campaigns.

New ways to diagnose the performance of your Facebook adsDiagnostic values

There are only three possible diagnostic values that may be displayed under each of the above ranking metrics. They are:

  • Above average
  • Average
  • Below average

Three new types of ad relevance scores
Your focus should always begin with improving the low-ranking value (“Below average”) rather than improving average rankings – it’s far more impactful for your advertising objective. Think of it as your low hanging fruit.

What it all means

So, what exactly does quality, engagement and conversion mean as it relates to your ad?

Quality ranking is all about your ad creative. The image needs to be eye-catching or eye-engaging to stop people scrolling and take notice. To a lesser extent it includes your headline, copy and call to action (button).

Engagement rate ranking is all about your audience; the relevance of your ad to your audience. You may need to take a closer look at your audience in your ad set, one more likely to interact with your ad/message. Ads that drive conversation with comments is a key factor in higher engagement rates.

Conversion rate ranking is all about your objective. Specifically, the action (CTA) you’ve asked your audience to take in the ad but also the experience people have on the page you directed them to (post-click experience), this could be to donate, buy, sign up, book etc.

How to fix underperforming ads

Using these three new metrics, let’s take a look at how to diagnose a “Below average” value for each of the quality metrics.

Quality ranking: if you received a low ranking for quality you need to focus primarily on your image. The ad is perceived as low quality. Consider experimenting with a few different images that appeals to your audience. Refer back to your personas/avatars to understand the best image to match an emotional pain, benefit or experience that will relate to this campaign objective. A secondary element to consider is the wording used in your headline. Do not change too many variables (image, headline, copy) at once otherwise you may not know what actually worked.

Engagement rate ranking: if you received a low ranking for engagement you need to review the audience you created or are using. This ad isn’t driving interest.  If this is an audience based on interest targeting, you may need to review the interests, behaviours and other attributes you selected. Use the Audience Insights tool in Facebook (do not choose the people who follow your page), select the relevant country (Australia) and search through various interests and look at the pages this audience likes and follows for further ideas. As mentioned above, refer back to your personas and take another look. Consider other factors that may influence (push or pull a persona) when making a decision or having an interest.

Conversion rate ranking: if you received a low ranking for conversion there are two parts to consider; the CTA (call to action) on the ad (this is the button you asked your audience to click) and or the success of your objective on the page you directed your audience to.

Let’s focus on the CTA first.

Look at your unique CTR (click through rate), if this figure is low (below 1%) then the issue is with your ad. You then may need to consider looking at your messaging; the combination of your headline and copy. Experiment with this first to get your unique CTR up.

If your unique CTR is 1% or higher then the issue is more than likely with the page (landing page) you are directing your audience to. If your landing page has people arriving and then leaving immediately, then you are disconnected with your audience and the objective you’ve set. Your objective on the landing page may be anything from asking viewers to subscribe, donate, book a lesson etc. You need to review your page to see does it match with the message in your ad (continuity), does it provide value to your audience and are they inspired or moved to take the action you’ve asked. This is also an iterative process where you will need to make minor changes and experiment by re-running the ad.


Now that you have this tool at your disposal…be patient, manage your expectations (and that of other stakeholders) as this process takes time to test. You may need to iterate a few times with your campaigns (run them for 5 to 7 days while testing; no longer) before you start to see clear (and repetitive) audience behaviour. Once you’ve gone through this (painful and frustrating) process and start achieving your ad objectives you won’t need to go through it time and time again; you’ll simply set a new start and end date, set your budget and turn on the ad campaign on whenever you need to run it.

Throughout this process you’ll learn a lot about running Facebook ad campaigns but you’ll also gain valuable insight into your audience. If you want to talk to Vlad about your Facebook campaigns in detail- he has limited one-off mentoring sessions available this month. For deep data coaching, drop us a line. 

Happy conversions!!


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