By Brad Highland, Director, Digital Marketing, Naked Lime Marketing
Earlier this year Facebook announced they were changing ad relevancy scores to help marketers easily identify why their ads weren’t getting ranked as highly as they might like. While the previous system told marketers how relevant their ads were on a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being the most relevant), those scores didn’t tell them why their ads were or weren’t relevant.
This led marketers to spend extra time and effort researching and analyzing their ads to pinpoint potential problems – a drain on efficiency, productivity, and effectiveness.
Enter Facebook’s new ad relevance diagnostics. You can still look at the old 1-10 rating for your ads, but now Facebook is giving marketers three different diagnostics for their ad relevancy: quality ranking, engagement rate ranking, and conversion rate ranking. Each one of these diagnostics will be rated with scores of above average, average, or below average.
At first glance, this might seem less specific than the original 1-10 scale, but in practice, it’s providing far more valuable information to advertisers.
In a fast-paced world, you must stay on top of current trends in marketing, and the direct explanations of your ad relevancy make that easier. Of course, this change is also beneficial to advertisers’ wallets because better relevance scores mean your budget is only being spent on your target audience.
For a better understanding of how Facebook’s new ad relevance diagnostics work, here are explanations of all three – and how to master them.
Facebook claims the quality ranking diagnostic explains “your ad’s perceived quality compared to ads competing for the same audience.” That quality is measured through the behavior of actual users who view the ad: people who have the ability to hide it from their feeds. If a lot of people hide the ad, your ad’s quality ranking will be lower because people simply don’t want to see it.
Facebook also assesses the amount of clickbait and engagement bait you put into your ads, which are meant to trick users into clicking on or engaging with your ad. If you utilize those tactics, your quality ranking is decreased.
When focusing on what results in a low-quality ad, I’ve found that landing pages play an outsized role. Users have reported having negative experiences with landing pages that provide an unexpected content experience. An example is a vehicle details page that has a generic description, only a handful of pictures, and no reviews. This leads to high bounce rates and low viewing times, reducing your ad’s quality ranking.
Pop-ups that hide too much page content or are hard to close, are another way to hurt your quality ranking. Interrupting visitors to your site with pop-ups that block content annoys visitors, making them want to leave the page.
To improve your quality ranking, focus on the quality of your creative assets and the content on your landing page. Once you believe your ad is high quality, turn your attention to your target audience, and try to target those who will find your ad valuable.
Engagement Rate Ranking
Engagement rate ranking uses the same ranking system as quality ranking and explains how your ad’s expected engagement rate compares to other ads competing for the same audience. This rate is a calculation of the likelihood that a user will interact with your post.
As with the quality ranking, using engagement bait posts – posts that ask for people to leave a like and comment – will not boost your score, and may actually hurt it.
So if you can’t ask for engagement, how do you improve your ranking?
First, try to create a dialogue among users who see your posts. Ads that receive comments from more than one user result in higher engagement than posts that receive a lot of likes but don’t have any comments.
Another tip to boost engagement on your ads is to post when your ideal audience is online. Great content that receives no engagement doesn’t help your brand. Researching when your target users are online can increase your engagement rate ranking and even your quality ranking.
If those tips don’t help, I recommend you try to improve your ad’s relevance to your audience by making it more engaging or interesting. Remember, you should be targeting an audience that’s more likely to interact with your content to see an improvement in your engagement ranking.
Conversion Rate Ranking
Conversion rate ranking differs slightly from the other two categories. This ranking explains how your ad’s expected conversion rate compared to ads with the same optimization goal competing for the same audience. Based on what you set as your optimization goal, this ranking calculates how likely it is that a user will complete that goal once they view your ad.
For instance, if your objective for the ad is traffic, your conversion rate will be the number of people that clicked through your ad divided by the number of people who viewed it.
If you need or want to improve your conversion rate, enhance your ad’s call to action. Make it clear to customers what you want them to do, and tell them why they should do it. This improves their experience and makes them actually want to do click through.
It’s worth remembering that customer experience is key, which is why Facebook recommends that you improve your post-click experience on landing pages. Like I mentioned before, having robust vehicle detail pages and limiting pop-ups helps improve the experience and keep customers around longer, making it more likely they’ll complete the action you want them to.
Put It All Together
Each one of these rankings tells you about your ads individually, but when you analyze them all together, you’ll get some actionable insights for your overall strategy. Simply put, optimizing each ranking will give you the highest probability of success for each one of your ads.
While mastering social media marketing takes a lot of work and skill, Facebook’s new scale helps you break down which aspects your brand needs to focus on. Now it’s up to you and your marketing team to put these new tools to work.
About the Author
Brad Highland has more than 16 years of automotive experience and currently leads the operations team in support and service of Naked Lime’s SEO, social media, reputation management, and paid advertising customer base. EMAIL: BHighland@nakedlime.com