How to Increase Return Visits with Facebook Custom Audiences

If you’re interested in building repeat visitors to your web site, there’s a very cost-effective way that you can show ads on Facebook only to people who have visited your site or a particular landing page. It’s called “Custom Audiences” and here’s how to use it.manage_ads

  1. Select “Manage Ads” from the little downward facing arrow at the top of the screen. If “Manage Ads” isn’t there, click “Create Ads” and follow the prompts to create an account.
  2. Once inside the “Manage Ads” tool, click the Tools menu and select “Audiences.” This will show you a list of all the “Audiences” you have created. For example, they might be demographically-based. We are going to build one that is based on people who have visited your web site.
  3. Select “Custom Audience” from the Create Audience drop-down.  Then, select “Website Audience” from the pop-up window.
  4. This is where things get a bit tricky.  (Follow along in the screenshot below.)
    • For “Website Traffic” select “People who visit specific Web pages”
    • The url is the most important step in the entire process.  Add the url of the page or section you want to track. If it’s a particular landing page, make sure the entire url is there. If your site can be accessed with www and no www, make sure to include both variations. You are building an audience of Facebook users who visit these particular pages.
    • Change “In the last 30 days” to “In the last 180 days.” This means that the audience will remain fresh and will build over the course of 6 months.
    • Add a checkmark to “Include past web traffic.”
    • Lastly, name your audience.
    • create_audience
  5. Before submitting this form, click the little gear icon in the lower left-hand corner, select “View Pixel Code” and copy this code to a file somewhere. If you have access to the site, add this code jcopy_codeust before the </head>. If you don’t have access to the site, send the code to your site admin and ask them to place it on every page of the site, including landing pages. (If it gets placed on every page, you will only have to do this one time no matter how many audiences you build.)
  6. Ok, we’re almost there. Click the Create Audience button and your new audience will be displayed.

Wait a while and then go back to the Audiences screen and you will find that the custom audience has already started building (presuming people have visited the page you listed under “URL Contains…”).

Once the audience is of a decent size, buy an ad and select your new Custom Audience as the audience for the ad. This way you can promote to people who have previously expressed some level of interest in your product or service.


If you want to learn more about deploying Facebook Custom Audiences and think out a strategy for deploying it at your organization, give me a call at 617-435-1340 or email me at