Have you ever visited a website, and then saw their ads when you were on Facebook? Compelling wasn’t it? Retargeting (also known as remarketing) allows you to reinforce marketing messages to a chosen audience. Read on to find out how to retarget your site visitors on Facebook (including Instagram and Messenger).
Step 1: Install the Facebook Pixel on Your Site
Installing a Facebook pixel on your site gives Facebook extra information about what your visitors are doing on your site. This allows Facebook to try and match your visitors against their database of users.
To check if your Facebook pixel is working, or to resolve any problems, check out my Facebook pixel troubleshooting guide.
Besides a range of other benefits, the relevant one here is that you can then provide Facebook with a set of criteria for selecting some of your site’s visitors for your retargeting campaign. Find out how in Step 2.
Step 2: Define your custom audience
You will now need to define an audience for retargeting. Go to your Facebook Ads Manager and select Audiences. Then click “Create a Custom Audience”. You will be presented with a popup. Click “Website Traffic”.
You will be presented with a screen to specify criteria for defining your audience. You could combine different criteria as needed. Explore some ideas below to see which might be right for you.People who visited your website
This is the simplest setting that allows you to retarget visitors to your website (or more specifically, any pages on your website where your Facebook pixel is installed).
I don’t recommend using this setting on its own as it is a blunt tool. But if you do choose this setting, I recommend starting with 14 days (and adjusting from there) rather than the default 30 days.
People who visited specific web pages
There are a number of possibilities here, so be imaginative! You can also fine tune the setting to narrow down on particular device types (e.g. desktop, iOS, Android)
Example 1 – Key content pages: You could retarget those who have visited your latest product collection pages at least thrice in the last 14 days on a desktop device. This may suggest warm leads with a specific interest, and who are already accessing your site on a device type that you know is more suitable for completing your Ecommerce checkout flow.
Example 2 – Key pages in your customer journey: You could retarget those who have visited pages which identify the stage in their customer journey. For example, you could create a custom audience based on people who have landed a thank you page following a purchase, and then target them to get repeat purchases. Or you could create a custom audience based on people who have submitted an enquiry form.
Note: Whilst tracking URLs is technically easier, I would recommend setting up standard or custom events to track purchases or form submissions.
Top visitors by time spent
You could also create a custom audience based on visitors who spent the most amount of time on your site, or on specific pages of your site. I’m not delving into this feature as my experience tells me that this is not particularly useful as an indication of interest or engagement. Unless you are targeting just one substantial page (e.g. a comprehensive product features page), I would rather use Frequency (number of relevant pages visited) instead of Time spent on site.
Mix and Match: Custom Combination
What is going to give you the greatest value when setting up custom audiences? Being creative and combining multiple criteria.
Example 1: Visitors to specific web pages but not others
Use this to identify contacts who are stuck in a particular stage in your marketing funnel, so you can help push them along. You could retarget those who have viewed an enquiry form but not gotten to the thank you page. Or those who have visited the add to cart page, but not the purchase thank you page.
Example 2: Visitors who haven’t visited recently
Use this to warm up visitors who have gone cold. For example, you could specify an audience who have visited in the past 30 days but not in the last 7 days. This is particularly useful for SAAS businesses where you need to reduce churn by maintaining high visitor engagement with your platform. The more engaged your visitors are, the more likely they are to see value in it.
Step 3: Set up your campaign
All you need to do now? Just set up a Facebook ad campaign as usual, and select your newly created custom audience when targeting your campaign.
You now have a retargeting campaign for a selected segment of your site visitors!