Facebook Website Custom Audiences (WCA)

By | 7 May, 2014

Facebook Website Custom Audiences (WCA) has quickly become one of the hottest targeting options that Facebook has rolled out. Using WCA, now your digital marketing campaign on Facebook becomes much more cost-effective. Technically, you can consider Facebook WCA as a static remarketing tool. It delivers excellent ROI, especially, if you have a solid advertising spend on Facebook ads otherwise as well.

The reason why Facebook Website Custom Audiences is the most exciting targeting option available is that now regardless of whether the user lies in your interest group, email list or not – you can target him most accurately since he has been a visitor of the site. Facebook WCA only targets those who have visited your site!

It is interesting to note that static remarketing was nearly impossible earlier without you signing up with a Preferred Marketing Developer of Facebook. Now, you can start creating your remarketing ads right within the Facebook ad dashboard.

What is a Facebook Website Custom Audiences Ad?

Using Facebook WCA you can re-target a person who has visited your site previously. A Facebook WCA ad is essentially a custom audience you populate for visitors who have visited your website. Consequently, you can run an ad targeting this particular list. They can visit any page of your website and they will be populated onto a list. This list in Facebook is called the Facebook Website Custom Audiences. You can create custom lists for people who visit the pages that matter the most to you or you can generically create a Website Custom Audience for the whole website. Facebook WCA works in exactly the same way as remarketing using Google AdWords.

How to Create a Facebook Website Custom Audiences Ad?

1) The first thing you want to do is log in to your ad manager dashboard and head over to Audiences.

Facebook WCA

2) In the screen that open, click on Create Audience, present at the top-right of your screen. Also, shown in image below.

Facebook WCA

3) Once you have clicked on the Create Audience button, Facebook will present you with a dialog box. You need to click on the option that says “Custom Audiences from Your Website”

Facebook WCA


4) The next step asks you to accept Facebook’s terms for Custom Audiences from your Website. Go ahead with that and accept it.

Facebook Website Custom Audiences

5) Facebook then gives you a pixel to place on your site. You can for the time being, simply copy this Pixel code and save it in a note pad. Do note that this pixel is necessary, as this is the source through which Facebook will start recording your visitors information (it only needs to be pasted once). Paste this code before the closing /HEADER tag of your website’s template.

Facebook Website Custom Audiences

If you have pasted the pixel code already, then you are ready to roll. Facebook then presents you with the final dialog box that allows you to enter the details about the sort of Website Custom Audience you want to create. After the image below, I have detailed instructions on how to enter your details.

Facebook Website Custom Audiences

6) Now, let me guide you into how to fill in the fields that show up in the dialog box above:

Facebook Website Custom Audiences

Audience Name & Description: While entering your requirements in the above dialog box do remember to name your WCA descriptively so that you know what it is for. I use over a hundred different custom audiences for different pages on my website and if anywhere my name is not clear, I tend to waste time figuring it out.

Website Traffic: If you select Website Traffic, then Facebook will create a custom audience that contains all users who have visited your website. There will be no rules applicable to what type of visitors should be populated. The second option you would see here is People Visiting Specific Page; selecting this option you can specify rules about what sort of visitors should Facebook record in that particular Website Custom Audience.

Visited: Here is where you define the rule to Facebook on what sort of visitors should it populate in this custom audience. Examples are usually, cart pages or a particular page where users usually drop off from your website etc. In my example, I am create a custom audiences of all users who have visited any article on my blog related to Facebook.

Facebook Website Custom Audiences

As you can see in the screen grab above, you’ll be able to select Domain, URL or Path of a visitor. You can use domain by itself, or include it with one or both of the other options. All the rules are interconnected by the “And” option.  Within each rule, you can specify if your URL or domain should contain any, exactly, not contain and so on for any keyword.

  • Domain lets you target anyone who visited ant domain that is under your control.
  • URL lets you target anyone who visited a URL that contains a particular character or string of characters (phrase).
  • Path lets you target anyone who visited a page that contains a particular character or string of characters within the path (after the domain) – I am still not sure how this is a better option compared to URL.

If I had to create a Website Custom Audience for all users who have seen my articles on Facebook, then I could create a Custom Audience with the rule URL contains “Facebook”, since I ensure all my Facebook related articles contain Facebook in the URL. I could additionally, add a rule using the “+”,  and my URL should not contain “news”. This way, the custom audience created by Facebook will be a list of people who visited any page on my blog that contains Facebook in the URL but does not have “news”. Any URL with “news” in it will not be recorded for visitors in this website custom audience.

The “+” works exactly like the AND statement rule you learned in math at high school.

Facebook Website Custom Audiences

Save for: Your custom audiences come with an expiry date. Facebook allows you to store visitors who came to your URL for up to 180 days in your custom audience, and you can use it to re-target your user. By default, Facebook provides you a 30-day time to store visitor information to your relevant pages.

Thus, Facebook Website Custom Audiences provide you with superior targeting flexibility the next time you create an ad. This can go on to create a great sales funnel where you pull in visitors to your site using interest targeting, and then re-target those who did not convert – since you know they were interested as they took the time out to visit your site. If implemented properly, Facebook WCA ads have almost 3X the CTR of a regular ad that you run on Facebook. Please let me know your doubts in the comments section below!