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Quick case study: should you use relevance score for Facebook optimizations?

Published: March 9, 2015

Author: Kristina McLane

Relevance Score has been a common topic for Facebook advertisers and paid search blogs over the last month. What relevance score is has already been covered; Kendra Pennington already put a great post up about relevance score on this very blog. What I wanted to know was: does Facebook know what they’re doing? Do my relevance scores match up with the performance that I am seeing? Should I consider relevance score when making optimizations?

Campaigns That Look For Conversions

I decided to look at one of my direct response Facebook accounts. This account focuses on form completions. The sole objective to Facebook advertising is to get more leads.
Here is what I saw when I looked at relevance score and how it correlated with conversion rate:
Facebook says that a relevance score determines how your ad is performing with the selected audience. It considers the negative and positive feedback for the ad. It seems from these numbers that conversions and conversion rate don’t factor in, and neither does click-thru-rate. My top-performing ad has a relevance score of three, but a conversion rate of 8.21%.
When looking at conversion rate, I will not let relevance score factor into optimization strategies. Negative feedback is calculated from the number of people who hide your ad or choose not to see your ads anymore. In this situation, I might consider for my top-performing ad that negative feedback is a filtering system for creating a more qualified audience.

Campaigns That Look For Clicks

Since positive feedback is calculated by “the number of times we expect people to take a desired action,” I decided to look at click-thru-rate in a different account that is focusing on clicks to the website:
In this account, there is almost a correlation between click-thru-rate and relevance score. The key word is almost. My top-performing ads based on click-thru-rate are seeing the highest relevancy scores. There’s a connection! However, when we get into relevance score of 5-6 range, there is an array of results.
Final Thoughts (for Now)
Based on what I have seen so far, I have no real ‘yes’ or ‘no’ ruling for relevance score. For now, I can’t see a finite connection between performance and relevance score. Since performance is what really matters, that is enough for me to carry on until I start to see any more of a connection between what I want and the grade that Facebook gives my ads.

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