Quick Guide to Retargeting with Facebook Website Custom Audiences

Tweet 2nd most read article by Jermyn

#2 most read article of 2014 on Click Z . Published 16 March 2014.

In January 2014 ,  Facebook released new ways to target people who visited a website or a mobile app. This is different from FBX, as it allows any site owner to quickly and easily start retargeting without the need to work with FBX partner platforms like Adroll and Triggit.

I’ve been asked about the workings of Facebook’s website custom audiences and this article gives an overview and quick explanation of how it can be created as well as how you can get the most out of this new audience selection feature.

What to use Website Custom Audiences (WCA) for?

The possibilities of how precisely you can reach people are endless. Here are some targeting ideas you can start to implement today:

  • Reach out to visitors who visited certain sections or content types in your site with similar/related content to encourage revisits.
  • Reach out to visitors who visited a particular section or page of your website but did not complete an action like purchase or sign-up.
  • Send a thank-you or welcome message to visitors who completed a desired action such as purchased a product or signed up for a new service.
  • Reach visitors who bought a particular product with related products or accessories to cross-sell.
  • Reach out to visitors who have not visited your site in a while (include WCA visitors who have visited over the last 180 days then exclude WCA visitors who visited over the last 150 days – you will need to create two WCAs with different duration settings).

How to create a Website Custom Audience?

If you’re familiar with creating and using a Facebook pixel then you’ll be thrilled at the added targeting website custom audiences opens up. If not, below is a very quick guide on how to set this up:

  • In Ads Manager or Power Editor, select Audiences, create audiences, and then choose “Custom Audience From Your Website.”
  • You’ll be asked to accept Facebook’s terms for this service.
  • First, retrieve the code for the remarketing pixel by clicking “View Remarketing Pixel” and have this installed onto all pages of your website (this code needs only to be placed one time and should be inserted before the closing </body> tag of your site).
  • Once done, you’re ready to start creating different website custom audiences.
  • In the “Name” column, you can create different audience groupings. For example, WCA – mydomain – All Visitors or WCA – mydomain – new products section.
  • “Visited”: This is where you tell Facebook how you want to target users based on specific Web pages or sections of your website.
  • “Duration”: You can set how far back to target visitors. Thirty days means you’re reaching everyone who has visited your site or page for the last 30 days (the maximum is 180 days).
  • After the remarketing pixel has been inserted, you will need to give your website some time to gather visitors to retarget.

How to target select audiences?

As you are creating a campaign in Facebook, choose the Custom Audiences you want to include or exclude as you create the ad.


The ability to exclude Custom Audiences is very useful, as this will help improve how precisely you can target. For example, targeting all users who visited a product page and then excluding any users who browsed the product page and reached the thank-you page after making a purchase will help you reach people who did not make a purchase.

The benefits of more precise targeting are huge so I’m really excited by these new features, as they make finding customers who are more ready to convert easier. It might seem a little tedious to set up and like more work to do, but the improvements in conversion rates and the lower cost per conversion is really going to make the effort well worth it!