How to retarget your website visitors using Facebook

Get that visitor back

Are you losing website visitors before they convert into a customer or lead?

Having spent hundreds, if not thousands of dollars attracting people to your website, or promoting your company or product; you notice that 99.99% of the traffic generated doesn’t convert. Even those that begin to add products to their shopping basket, abandon the process. Infact, 72% of online shoppers are likely to abandon their shopping carts prior to making a purchase.1

Gone forever, never to be seen again.

However, you can and should be looking at how you can re-engage with these visitors to encourage them to return your website.

We’ve all spent time browsing websites for holidays, clothes, insurance or whatever; then noticed ads for these companies appearing in our timelines for the next week or so. This isn’t coincidental. This is a predetermined retargeting strategy and there’s every reason why you should be doing this.

Website visitors who return to your website via retargeting are 70% more likely to convert.2

With retargeting, the percentage of visitors that return and complete the checkout process increases to 26%.2

Many online advertising platforms provide retargeting options, and Facebook is just one of them. But it is an important player in the retargeting arena. With over 1.87 billion users spending on average 800 minutes per month on the platform, the reach and engagement is a huge opportunity for marketers.3

Setting up your first Facebook retargeting campaign is relatively straightforward and is something you can do right now. All you need is a Facebook Ad Manager account and access to your website’s CMS such as WordPress.

Facebook retargeting will allow you to serve ads to the people that have visited your website. It does this by a pixel you add to your website, that is completely invisible to the visitor, but places a unique cookie in the visitor’s browser that allows them to be anonymously identified by Facebook.

The first thing you need to do is install the Facebook Conversion Pixel to your website. To do this, login to your Facebook account and navigate to your Facebook Ad Manager.

If you click on the Ads Manager hamburger menu in the top left corner:

Facebook Ads1Navigate to Pixels:

Facebook Ads2

Once loaded you can select “set up Pixel” and then you will be presented with two set up options:

  1. Install using a tag manager, or
  2. Copy and paste code into your website.

I’m going to assume that those using a tag manager are a little more tech savvy, so I will focus on the second option.

The second option will provide you with a script or Pixel Base Code for you to copy and paste into the header (in between the tags) on every page on your website. Now, that sounds complicated, doesn’t it?
The good news is, that if you are using WordPress, you can install plugins, such as the Facebook Conversion Pixel. Once installed, this plugin adds a widget to each page, post or any other asset, that allows you to insert the Pixel Base Code.

Facebook Ads3

Just check the Insert Code box and then paste in your code in the box below. As simple as that.
The next thing you need to do will be to track events (or conversions). Facebook’s event codes will help you track when visitors have completed specific actions. Facebook kindly provides a selection of 9 off-the-shelf events such as when a user adds a product to their card, makes a purchase, submits a form or completes a registration.

Grab the code for the relevant event you would like to track and place the event code on the relevant pages. This may be your ‘thank you’ or ‘purchase confirmation’ page. Wherever you direct your visitors once they’ve completed the desired action.

Once the Pixel Base Code and the Event Codes have been added you should be able to see that the Facebook Pixel is active within your Facebook Ad Manager platform.

Creating a custom audience of website visitors

Now that Facebook is tracking your website visitors, you need to add them to a custom audience for you to target.

Go to the Facebook Ads Manager hamburger menu and select ‘Audiences’

Facebook Ads5

And create a ‘Custom Audience’. You’ll then be given the option of different approaches to create this audience. Select the ‘Website Traffic’ option.

By default, Facebook will set your website traffic criteria to ‘Anyone who visits your website’.

Facebook Ads6

Now, there’s one downside to this default setting. It doesn’t discriminate between a visitor, a customer or a lead. So, you could be sending special offers to customers who’ve already purchased. That may not be a great tactic.

For this reason, I’d recommend creating a ‘Custom Combination’ and EXCLUDE visitors that have completed your events you’re tracking. This will mean that anyone who has successfully completed an action of value such as completing a checkout will not see your ads.

Once you have set up your custom audience, you will need to wait until your audience pool is large enough to target them. But once it meets Facebook’s criteria, when you create an ad you’ll be able to select the custom audience of website visitors you’ve just created.

Bonus tip:

Personalise your ads

The above process is pretty broad brush and treats all visitors as equal. If you sell a range of products or services, you may wish to be more personalised with the ads you show visitors who have shown particular interests.

To do this, when you create a custom audience for website traffic. Rather than select ‘Anyone who visits your website’ select ‘People who visit specific web pages’. You can then cluster your audiences by interests. For example, visitors who are interested in diving versus visitors interested in trekking in the rainforest. Your ads or offers can then be specific to that set of visitor’s interests.

Need more information?

If you are interested in using retargeting as part of your marketing mix, whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter or Google’s ad network, get in touch.






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