Facebook Advanced Custom Audiences: The Power of Qualified Visits

March 9, 2017

In midsummer 2016, Facebook rolled out the ability to add an advanced extra layer onto their Website Custom Audiences. This additional layer now means you can capture users by the number of times they visited a certain web page, or the amount of time spent on your website or web page.

This has given advertisers the ability to capture those actually interested in their products. For example, setting up a retargeting audience based on people in the top percentile of time spent on a website indicates a certain level of interest and intent with those customers.

The Setup

The setup is similar to any Website Custom Audience. From your Business Manager:

  1. Click the Audiences tab.
  2. Click Create Audience.
  3. Choose Custom Audience.
  4. Choose Website Traffic.
  5. Click the drop-down to reveal the Website traffic options.

facebook custom audiences

Time Spent

Facebook allows you to create an audience based on the amount of time spent on your website, Top 5%, 10% or 25%.

facebook custom audiences

Marin Tip:
Marin Social lets you capture audiences by minutes. For example, you can capture those who spend one minute on a page.

Custom Combination | Number of Visits and Device Specification

Facebook also allows you to create an audience based on the number of times someone has visited your website. For example, if somebody visited your website at least three times in the last seven days, we know there’s a certain level of intent. You can act on this, offering a slight discount or up-selling an alternative product.

Putting It to Use

I call these custom audiences Qualified Audiences. There is a natural level of high intent in these audiences. To date, I’ve used them on three accounts, across three verticals, and the results have been excellent!

Each time, I’ve created a custom audience containing those who’ve spent more than 50 seconds on a product category page within the last seven days. (Note: This was done within the Marin Social app. If you’re using the Facebook UI you can only choose the top percentile of visitors.) I used a carousel creative type, showcasing a handful of products within the named category. This audience is naturally quite small and similar to that of a DPA audience.

I started with a small daily budget, around €25, and bid CPC. Every second day I reviewed the CPA, CTR, and CPC. The results were amazing. I increased the budget by €10 on each review until I saw ad fatigue. (Once you see ad fatigue, you know you’re overloading it with budget!)

When you find the ‘sweet spot’ budget allocation for a campaign of this nature, it can act as an ‘always-on’ retargeting campaign that needs little optimization. Because you’ve chosen a small retention window, your audience should consistently refresh. A good tip to keep things on track is to check the frequency—if the campaign accrues a high frequency score, you’re over-showing your ad. In this case you may need to lower your budget, increase your retention days, or decrease the time specification.


The results across three accounts were amazing, and needed little optimization and management. Across three accounts, I observed an average CPA decrease of 40%, and an average CVR of 26%.

Give It a Try

I recommend that every social advertiser test this type of campaign. It’s important, however, to remember that this style of targeting can only be done on a small scale, due to the nature of the narrow retention window and criteria specifications. However, it acts as an extra net to catch conversions. Happy retargeting!

By submitting this form, I am agreeing to Marin’s privacy policy.

See why brands have relied on Marin to manage over $48 billion in spend