Learn how your Facebook ad relevance score is impacting your ad performance and costs

Have you noticed a new stat in your Facebook ads dashboard? Facebook has rolled out a new metric and it can impact how well your ads perform in a variety of ways.

It’s called the Facebook ad relevance score, and this is what you need to know…

One of Facebook’s biggest concerns is trying to show people posts that they are interested in. This focus drives everything they do. It’s why you may feel like you’re fighting an uphill battle to get your content seen by your fans, and it’s why you only see posts from people and pages that you interact with on a regular basis when you log onto Facebook. (I’m not saying it’s a perfect process, but Facebook has good intentions. They want you to see content you care about in your newsfeed.)

Facebook has always used relevance as a factor in determining how ads are delivered, but now this “score” is going to be shown in your ads dashboard, which I think is a good thing. Because whether you agree with the score or not, it is affecting your ad’s performance.

How relevance scores work

To quote Facebook, “Relevance score is calculated based on the positive and negative feedback we expect an ad to receive from its target audience. The more positive interactions we expect an ad to receive, the higher the ad’s relevance score will be.

Positive indicators vary depending on the ad’s objective, but may include video views, conversions, etc. The more times we expect people to hide or report an ad, the lower its score will be.”

Ads receive a relevance score between 1 and 10, with 10 being the best. The score can go up or down as people start interacting with your ad and providing real (not just predicted) feedback.


facebook ad relevance score

So if Facebook thinks your ad sounds or looks “spammy” they’re going to give it a lower score. If they think the audience you are targeting is totally unrelated to what you’re promoting, your score may go down. On the flip side, you’ll often see a 10/10 when you’re targeting your own fans or a website custom audience with a relevant ad that performs well.

Your ad’s relevance score has less of an impact on cost and delivery in brand awareness campaigns (page post engagement or video view ads, for example), since those ads are optimized for maximum reach, rather than driving a specific action, like conversions.

Does the relevance score matter?

So, why should you care about your relevance score, and how will it impact your ad’s performance?

A good relevance score can lower the cost of advertising, which is always a good thing. The higher the score is, the less it will cost to reach people and your ad budget will go further.

Also, I believe that if you have a very low relevance score, you will see that you can’t seem to reach many people, regardless of your ad budget. Facebook just doesn’t want to push out bad content, no matter how much money you’re trying to spend!

Ad budget and bidding do matter though, so an ad with a 10/10 relevance score and low bid won’t necessarily beat out an ad with a good relevance score and high bid, but the great score will help with ad deliverability overall.

How can I use relevance scores to help Facebook ad performance?

So is a good relevance score the “end all and be all” of Facebook ad metrics? Hardly.

It’s important, and it can impact your costs, but as I’ve long said, it’s paramount that you keep your campaign objectives in mind when running ads. What did you set out to accomplish by running this ad?

If you’ve created an ad to get sign ups for an upcoming webinar and your relevance score is 4/10 but you’re getting a ton of signups at a low cost, your ad is still a success! If that’s the case, you can do 1 of 3 things….

1. You can do nothing, and as long as ad performance stays the same, just let it run, regardless of the relevance score.

2. Start some testing at the ad level to see if a different photo or a tweak to the ad copy can improve your score. Do the ad copy and landing page match up well? Does making them better aligned improve your score?

3. Do nothing for now, but keep an eye on both the relevance score and your cost per conversion. If the relevance score goes down and your cost per conversion goes up, it might be time to refresh your ad copy &/or image to see if you can get the relevance score back up. (Note: I would pause the old ad and create a new ad in the ad set if you do any updates.)

Use relevance scores as a way to test and learn about your ad creative and ad targeting. Test different combinations of image and copy with different audiences, and learn which combinations offer the highest relevance scores. What works for one audience may not work for another.

Have you been keeping an eye on your ad relevance scores? How are they performing and are you noticing any trends? Let me know in comments!


  1. Kristy Schnabel on October 5, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    Hi Julie, I’m so happy to find someone who agrees. I’m in a couple of FB ads groups and not many of them seem to care about their relevance score, but I’m with you. If you can get that score up the cost of ads go down and the reach goes up. I will add, though, sometimes the score surprises me when I think an ad is doing well, but FB doesn’t think so. How about you? Kristy

    • Julie Lowe on October 14, 2015 at 10:52 pm

      Thanks for dropping by the blog! Yes, I agree, the scores do surprise me sometimes!

  2. Tara O'Connell on November 24, 2015 at 4:50 am

    Thanks so much Julie. Excellent article! I had noticed the scores (mine is currently at 7) but didn’t fully understand how it was calculated or how it impacted on costs.
    Tara x

    • Julie Lowe on November 24, 2015 at 1:47 pm

      I’m so glad it was helpful, Tara!

  3. Julia on January 15, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    Thanks Julie, how long do you think it takes for an ad to “settle in” after 1 day the relevance on 1 ad is only 2. Should I just kill it or is it too early to say?

    • Julie Lowe on January 15, 2016 at 9:42 pm

      Too early to say. Don’t make any ad decisions until it has ran at least 48-72 hours. And if your costs are good but the score is low, don’t worry too much about the score! I’ve seen that happen too. But if the costs are high and the relevance score is low and it’s been running a while — I’d pause it and re-evaluate.

  4. Marnie Ginsberg on February 16, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    Thanks so much, Julie! I’m just starting out and don’t have time to wade through every column so I’m glad you explained this so succinctly. I checked my relevance scores out and the ones that were better targeted in my opinion were getting better relevance scores. I got a score of 10 to a boosted post to my fans, for instance. (That was just playing around for fun with just $3. 😉

    • Julie Lowe on February 16, 2016 at 5:45 pm

      I’m so glad it helped, Marnie!

  5. Susie on March 21, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    Is this available retroactive on ads that have already run and are now finished?

    • Julie Lowe on March 21, 2016 at 7:50 pm

      Susie, yes you should be able to see the score on any of your ads that have reached at least 500 people.

  6. Cindy on June 1, 2016 at 8:15 pm

    Thanks, Julie. I had no idea! I will be watching that.

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