Pinpoint Advertising with Facebook Website Custom Audiences


Have you ever created an ad on Facebook? If you have, I’m sure you’ve seen it – you know, the audience size. Your ad may be perfect, but if it’s going to be shown 2 million people, what kind of conversion rate can you really expect? There has to be a better, more efficient way, right?

In steps Facebook’s Website Custom Audiences.

What is a Website Custom Audience?

Facebook’s Website Custom Audiences let you create Facebook ads targeted at users who have previously visited your website. Previewed at the end of 2013 and released for general consumption at the beginning of 2014, this new form of advertising lets you show targeted ads in a Facebook user’s news feed after visiting your website. This is huge – they don’t have to be a fan of your page or on an email list or a paying member of anything, they are shown this ad simply because they have come to your website.

Why Should You Care?

First, because it’s awesome, but, if you want some more concrete reasons, this tool will let you:

  • Create incredibly specific ads that hit people who have visited certain pages of your website.
  • Draw people back to your website from Facebook.
  • Keep your business and your products top of mind after someone comes to your website and leaves.

The above are just some examples, but really, the possibilities are only limited by your creativity.

Related: [eBook] Facebook – Converting Fans Into Paying Customers

OK, Now that you’re sold on the awesomeness of this advertising option, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty, and walk through creating an ad for your Custom Website Audience.

Creating a Website Custom Audience

The easiest way to do this will be to create your audience through Facebook’s Power Editor. You can do this by going to or by selecting POWER EDITOR from the menu options of the Facebook Ads Manager. If you have trouble finding it, check out Facebook’s Support Page, here: Currently, this tool can only be accessed in Google Chrome.

After logging in, select Ad Tools in the top right corner, and then click Audiences.

Then click Create Audience and select Custom Audience.

Next, you’ll be given a menu that looks like this. Click Custom Audience from your Website. You may be asked to accept Facebook’s Terms and Conditions after doing this.

Then, you can start creating your new targeted audience. You’ll see this menu:

Keep this in mind as you create your audience:

  • Audience Name: Name your audience in a way that makes it easy for you to remember what it is, and what segment it represents. You’ll thank yourself later when you are looking for specific audiences. To keep it simple, you can just name it after the targeted audience (example: GoSmallBiz-Website-Visitors-4-29-2014)
  • Description: This section is optional, but it helps to write a quick sentence here so you can easily recall the makeup of the audience later.
  • View Custom Audience Pixel: This is the tech part. In order to let Facebook know who has visited your website, you will first need to install a tracking pixel. Just click View Custom Audience Pixel and copy this to your clipboard. Then, add it to the header area of the code on your website.
  • Website Traffic: Here, you can decide if you would like to target everyone who visits your website, or people who only visit a certain page. See more on developing a group for a specific page below.
  • Save For: This will determine how long someone will be retargeted on Facebook after visiting your site. By default it will be set to 30 days, but can be as short as 1 day or as long as 180 days. To determine the amount of time to set the tracking pixel, think about your audience. If you have many visitors to your website, a shorter period may make more sense. Lower visitor rates may dictate that you use a longer time frame.

Related: 5 Reasons Your Business Needs to be on Facebook

If you want to target based on a specific page, you will see the following additional options after clicking People visiting specific pages.


  • Targeting by Domain: This allows you to target people who have visited a specific domain.
  • Targeting by URL: This option allows you to target advertisements to people who have visited specific pages of your website. You can also target specific keywords found in the URL here.
  • Targeting by Path: This option lets you target people using keywords that only exist after the domain name.

After creating your custom audience, you can select Test This Rule to see if the rule will work as you intended.

After selecting to test your rule, you will see a new field, Test URL. To run the test, simply enter the URL of a page on your website that should include a visitor in the new custom audience. If the rule was created correctly, you will see a green check mark next to the Visited field. If it will not track a visitor to this portion of your site, you will see a red X instead.

Related: Facebook Cheat Sheet – Image Dimension Quick Reference

After completing the setup process, click Create to make the new custom audience selectable through the Facebook Ads menu.

Promoting a New Ad to Your Custom Audience

After you have created your custom audience, you will be able to select it as you create ads through Facebook’s Ad Manager. To do this, simply select the appropriate audience from the Custom Audiences field during the ad setup.


How on Earth Would I Use This?

Great question. This one has so many possibilities that it may be hard to pin down just one. To help you wrap your head around it, here are a few examples from Facebook:

  • A travel website with the remarketing pixel could use Custom Audiences to reach a group of people — say, people that searched for flights but never made a reservation — with a targeted message in their News Feed: Come back for 10% off your next flight reservation.
  • A retail location could build retargeting campaigns encouraging shoppers who didn’t buy to come back and purchase the items left in their shopping cart.

How will you use this powerful new marketing tool?

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Harry Kierbow

Harry Kierbow

Harry Kierbow is the Director of Social Media for Commissions Inc (CINC), a real estate technology and marketing company. He's played professionally on Facebook (and other social networks) for more than 7 years now, managing campaigns for brands (both big and small) and individuals (also both big and small). Universally regarded as the greatest ice hockey goalie to ever come from Griffin, GA (by his mom at least), you can find Harry between the pipes on the ice rinks of Georgia (yes, there is more than one) or playing with his 2 kids when he's not perfecting social media ads or binging true crime documentaries on Netflix. Connect with Harry on LinkedIn @HarryKierbow.