The 5 Minute Guide to Facebook’s New ‘Time-On-Site’ Targeting Options

Using Facebook’s advertising platform, you can run ads that target people who have interacted with your business already. For example, customers and website visitors. When you create a group of website visitors or customers to target on Facebook, it’s called a Custom Audience.

Earlier this year, Facebook updated its Custom Audience feature to help brands create Custom Audiences based on the amount of time visitors spend on their websites, and the days they visited. These audiences can be created from in the Audiences tool in Ads Manager or directly within ad creation.

Targeting someone based on the amount of time spent on your website is another powerful tool for creating targeted ads. Let’s discuss how to set these audiences up and the best ways to use them to optimize your ads.

How to Set Up Time-on-Site Audiences

Before we start exploring tactics, it’s important to set up a Custom Audience based on the time users spent on your website. Head to the Audiences section of your Ads Manager.

Click on Create Audience and select Custom Audience.

Screenshot of creating a Website Custom Audience in Facebook

From the list of options select Website traffic.

Screenshot of selecting website traffic for a Custom Audience source in Facebook

Click on the Website Traffic drop-down list and at the bottom you’ll see the option to pick “Based on time spent on your website.”

You’ll now see the drop-down option to target the top 5%, 10%, or 25% of active users on your website in the last 180 days:

Screenshot of selecting time-on-site for a Website Custom Audience on Facebook

Give your audience a name and click save.

Let’s say you selected the top 10% of website visitors to segment over a 30-day period. If over the last 30 days, roughly 100,000 people visited your website, the most active 10% are placed in a Custom Audience of roughly 10,000 visitors.

How to Use Time-on-Site Audiences to Optimize Your Ad Campaigns

Now that you know how to set these audiences up, let’s delve into the best ways to use them.

1. Use Audience Insights to Discover What Separates Browsers From Buyers

Knowledge is power, so use Facebook’s Audience Insights tool to learn more about who your browsers are and who your buyers are. Audience Insights will show you data about your audience such as demographics, income, and interest information.

Here’s how to use it.

First, create two Custom Audiences: one made up of everyone who has purchased from you (you can upload their email addresses) and one via the time-on-site audience feature. For the time-on-site audience, you can use any of the three settings, but we’d recommend using Top 25%.

Now, check the Audience Insights data for the two audiences. The data may initially look similar because people who have purchased from you are more likely to spend more time on your website. The key is to look for the differences.

For example, the time-on-site audience might have a pretty even split between men and women, while the purchasing audience has a 70-30 split. That could be a sign at that your product appeals for to men and you should adjust you targeting accordingly. Or, if you want to increase the number of women that buy you product, you could optimize your website to appeal more to women so that more of them checkout.

2. Narrow Your Existing Retargeting Audiences

Retargeting audiences are great, but they’re not perfect. A broad retargeting audience will group everyone who has been to your website together—whether they came to your website once and bounced off immediately or they come every day. But trying to make them more effective by specifying certain pages is arduous and difficult to scale.

Time-on-site audiences make this issue a thing of the past. All you need to do is change the audience targeting on your retargeting campaigns from targeting all website traffic within a specific time period to one of the new time-on-site audiences. Just make sure to continue excluding purchasers.

3. Test Segmented Time-on-Site Retargeting Audiences With Different Messaging

The amount of time someone spends on your site is often a good indicator of where they are in the process of making a purchase. Someone new to your brand will likely spend less time on your website, while someone who knows your brand a bit better will likely spend more time on your website.

Users at different stages of the buyer’s journey will also respond positively to different messaging. Someone earlier in the journey likely needs more information or convincing, so branding messages, videos, and informative content fit well. Someone later in the journey might just need an extra nudge to convince him or her to make a purchase, so a well-timed offer or discount is the right move.

Setting this up in Facebook is easy. Create separate campaigns for each of the two audiences and create ads with the unique messaging and creative you want to use for each group. The key condition is the audience targeting.

For the audience earlier in the buyer’s journey, set the audience targeting to EXCLUDE anyone who is in the top 25% of users for time-on-site in a given time period. For the audience later in the buyer’s journey, set the audience targeting to INCLUDE the top 5%, 10%, or 25% of visitors for time-on-site. You can also test this to see what works best for you.

4. Create Lookalike Audiences Based on Your Time-on-Site Audiences

Building lookalike audiences of high-quality users is the cornerstone of a good prospecting strategy on Facebook. Finding the best lookalike audiences involves testing to see which gets the best balance of cost per acquisition (CPA) and and ability to scale.

Depending on how much data you have, or what that data says, the audiences most closely reflecting your “ideal customer” may not end up producing the best lookalike audiences…that’s why it’s important to test!

A time-on-site audience are great for building lookalike audiences off of. If you’re looking for high-value prospects, how could you not include the people who spend the most time on your site? With this feature now available, the lookalike audiences I recommend every ecommerce business should start with are:

  • People who have purchased
  • People who have purchase three or more times in the last 12 months
  • People in the top 5%, 10%, or 25% time-on-site audience

Use these lookalike audiences to run campaigns geared towards attracting new people to your brand and bringing them into your marketing funnel. When you’ve tested your lookalike audiences and want to further lower the CPA, you should move to step 5.

5. Layer Interest and Demographic Targeting on Top of Your Time-on-Site Lookalike Audiences

Now that you’ve built lookalike audiences off of your time-on-site audiences, you can use interest and demographic filters to focus them even more. This tactic isn’t exclusive to time-on-site-based audiences—it’s useful for all kinds of lookalike audiences. Filtering lookalike audiences with other factors makes them less broad, resulting in a lower cost per acquisition.

When you do this, you are telling Facebook “I don’t want to target everyone in this Lookalike Audience—just the people who also match these other characteristics.”

You can, of course, do this from the start, but it’s generally better to figure out if a lookalike audience is working at all before refining it. Basic factors, like age or gender, however, can always be used from the beginning if your products are age or gender specific.

So, which of Facebook’s available data points should you select?

The best ones will either show a demonstrated interest or need in the products you sell or match data that you have on your existing buyer profile. These can include:

  • Interest in your product’s topic or category
    • For example, if you sell a video game accessory, target only people interested in video games
  •  Annual income
    • For example, if your product has a higher-than-average price point (or is considered a “premium” option in its category), restrict the audience to only individuals in higher income brackets
  • Interest in a subject you’re going to feature in certain ad campaigns
    • For example, you sell a sports nutrition product and market to four different types of athletes: runners, cyclists, weightlifters, and swimmers. If you want to create an ad campaign featuring content related to running, restrict the audience targeting to only show the ads to members of the lookalike audience who are also interested in running.

That’s it! Using these five tactics to explain time-on-site targeting options will put you on a great path. How do you plan on using this new feature?


5 High-Impact Strategies for Getting More Traffic

“How do I drive more traffic to my online store?”

That thought crosses the mind of every ecommerce entrepreneur at some point.

Maybe you’ve just sunk time and effort into painstakingly setting up your store, only to open up shop and wonder where your sales are. Maybe you’ve seen steady growth over the past 6 months, but just hit a plateau. Or maybe you’ve built a million dollar business and now you’re setting your sights on your next big goal.

Whether you’re trying to attract your first customer or your 10,000th customer, generating more traffic to your online store is a crucial part of growing your business. If your site is properly optimized for conversions, getting a jump in traffic could mean more customers and more sales.

To help you increase traffic for your online store, we’ve put together a list of 5 proven, high impact tactics for driving more traffic to your online store.

1. Run Paid Social Media Ad Campaigns

To increase website traffic for your online store, you need to be able to get your business in front of your ideal customers. With paid social media ads, you can create highly targeted campaigns that serve tailor-made ads to the customers who are most likely to click through and purchase your products.

If you’re thinking about running paid social media ads, here are some platforms you should consider:

Facebook Ads

facebook ads

Image source: Facebook

With 1.65 billion monthly users, Facebook is the largest social media platform in the world and filled with opportunities for you to reach new customers and drive them to your online store. Facebook’s robust advertising platform allows you to target users based on their interests, behavior, location, and more.

Using Facebook Dynamic Ads, you can even serve automatically-generated ads to customers who have previously visited your website, featuring the products that they’ve already looked at or added to their carts. These powerful ads can help you bring users back to your website, so that you can make the most of the traffic you’re already getting.

Instagram Ads

instagram ads

Image source: Adweek

Instagram is an incredibly popular platform, especially among Millennials. In fact, 73% of its half a billion monthly active users are between the ages of 15 – 35, making it the perfect choice for businesses whose target audiences skew younger.

With its recently expanded tools for business owners, Instagram is quickly becoming the platform-to-watch for social media advertising. It’s actually pegged to rake in a whopping $2.81 billion by the year 2017 on mobile ad revenue alone, beating out both Twitter and Google.

So, even if you’ve already built an army of followers on Instagram, you aren’t really using it to its full potential until you’ve tried its advertising platform.

Pinterest Ads

promoted pins

Image source: Pinterest

Pinterest plays a key role in the purchasing decisions of its users: 93% have used it to plan purchases and 52% have purchased something online after seeing it on Pinterest first. It’s also extremely popularity among niche groups like DIY crafts, home decor, and fashion which is ideal for businesses hoping to make in-roads with these markets.

Pinterest is home to Promoted Pins, a form of paid advertising that pushes your Pins to the top of your customers’ search results, helping you stand out from the crowd. Promoted Pins blend in with the rest of Pinterest’s content, making them a great tool for capturing your customers’ attention and pulling them to your online store.

2. Use SEO to Increase Your Store’s Discoverability

Can your customers actually find your store online?

When customers search for your products online, you want your store to be one of the top results for that search, especially since ⅓ of all clicks go to the first organic result on Google. That prized top position is a key ingredient for generating sustained, qualified website traffic for your online store.

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the process of fine-tuning your website to increase its chances of ranking highly in search results for relevant keywords.

SEO is a fine science and only works when you put in time and effort into learning the rules that govern search engines like Google and Bing, so that you can apply those rules to the structure and content of your site.

3. Reach New Audiences with Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is the process of building relationships with influencers to get your online store in front of new audiences.

With influencer marketing, you can harness the creativity and reach of relevant influencers in your industry while leveraging the trust that they’ve already formed with their audiences.

Image source: Estee Lalonde on Instagram

Bloggers and social media celebrities like Estee Lalonde are highly trusted by their followers, so getting them to feature your products is an effective, organic tactic for increasing your traffic. According to Nielsen, 92% of customers actually value word-of-mouth recommendations from people they trust over any other form of advertising.


4. Drive Excitement with Contests and Giveaways

While many of these methods may seem like long term solutions for increasing your traffic, there are ways to give your business a short term boost in numbers as well.

With viral contests, giveaways, and sweepstakes you can quickly drive more traffic to your store by offering exciting prizes in exchange for your customers’ participation. Prizes and rewards are powerful incentives for getting both current and new customers to actually visit your store.

gleam example contest

Image source: Gleam

Using tools like Gleam or Woobox, you can embed giveaways into landing pages or blog posts on your store. These contests can even use social sharing as a method of entry, giving your sweepstakes a higher chance of going viral and spreading around social platforms. Once participants are on your store, you can use different techniques to guide them to your products, like exit intent popups featuringcoupon codes.

5. Attract Customers with Content Marketing

Content marketing is about more than just having a blog.

By creating interesting, informative, and engaging content, you can organically attract customers to your online store. From videos and podcasts to guides and ebooks, there are endless opportunities for your business to branch out into the world of content and capture new audiences.

Original content helps position your business as an industry thought leader and build a lifestyle around your brand. Your business’ content strategy can include anything that your customers might find relevant or interesting—don’t limit yourself to posts or guides that include or focus on your products. Instead, consider any and all topics and resources related to your business that your customers would find useful.

google adwords keyword planner

Image source: Google AdWords

Content marketing also gives your store the chance to conquer search results beyond product and brand keywords. Using free tools like Google Keyword Planner and, you can identify new opportunities for your business to rank in search results and get in front of larger audiences.

Get More Traffic, Get More Customers

With these tactics in your ecommerce marketing toolkit, you should now be able to generate more website traffic for your online store.

More traffic to your online store means more opportunities to turn those casual shoppers into paying customers. Once you’ve increased your traffic, consider trying out Conversion Rate Optimization as a next step.

Have any questions about how to increase website traffic for your online store? Share them in the comments below!

5 Additions To Your Facebook Business Page That Can Increase Sales on Black Friday

Black Friday 2015 is projected to be the biggest online shopping day ever, but if you’re hoping to get a piece of this year’s earnings, you’ll need to do a lot more than just offer a few discounts.

We’ve already shown you 8 awesome Black Friday email campaigns you can steal, and provided a 26-point checklist for preparing your store, so today we’re going to help you optimize another important piece of the Black Friday puzzle – your Facebook Business Page.

This post will teach you some of the most effective ways to build hype for your Black Friday sale on Facebook. By the time we’re done, you’ll not only have a highly-optimized Facebook Business Page, but also a Shop section that’s ready to rake in additional sales.

Let’s start with the basics.

Step 1: How to activate the new Shop section of your Facebook Business Page

The new Shop section makes it easy for desktop and mobile users to browse and buy products from your Facebook Business Page. Since it’s mobile-friendly, you’ll be able to capture sales from people using the Facebook app or mobile site on Black Friday. Here’s what it looks like on MVMT’s page:

If you’ve already installed the Shop section, move on to step 2. If you haven’t, now’s the time (don’t worry – it only takes a minute). Our guide to setting up your Facebook Shop section makes it easy.

Step 2: Create a custom Facebook cover image to promote your sale

Now that your Facebook Shop section is set up, it’s time to focus on marketing.

An eye-tracking study conducted by EyeTrackShop found that participants spent more time looking at Facebook cover photos than wall posts or ads. If you want Facebook users to know about your Black Friday sale, customizing your cover photo is the place to start.

Let’s go over what a Black Friday Facebook cover photo should include by examining a good example I found on Creative Market:

Image via Cooledition

First, you’ll notice that the phrase “Black Friday Specials” is dead centre and impossible to miss. The creator has also included a few key photos of compelling sale products (makeup and brushes), the maximum discount (75%), what’s on sale (selected cosmetics), and the store’s URL. When combined, all of these details create a cover image that’s attractive, informative, and attention-grabbing.

You can purchase the Photoshop template above for $2 or contact the creator to design a custom version for an additional fee. If you decide to make your cover photo from scratch, keep these 3 awesome ecommerce design trends in mind.

Step 3: Set up your page’s Call to Action button

Your new Facebook Shop section will make it easy for Facebook users to browse and purchase items from your Black Friday collection, but you should also give them a simple way to visit your online store. Facebook’s Call to Action buttons are the answer.

Image via Facebook

Here’s what Dollar Shave Club had to say about theirs:

“Over the course of a three-week test, the Sign Up Call to Action button delivered a 2.5x higher conversion rate versus other comparable social placements aimed to drive new user acquisition.” — Brian Kim, Director of Acquisition, Dollar Shave Club.

Here’s a quick walkthrough of how to set up your own:

  • Click the Create Call to Action button on your cover photo.
  • Choose the Shop Now button and add your link in the website field.
  • Click Create.

The link you include can either be to your store’s homepage or a direct link to your dedicated Black Friday landing page. While Facebook provides its own stats for page owners, you can also add a UTM code to your call-to-action button to better track its performance in Google Analytics.

Step 4: Pin a post announcing the sale

Pinning a post is perhaps the simplest way to highlight an offer or event on your Facebook Business Page. By pinning a post, you’ll ensure it stays at the top of your timeline even after you make additional posts. You can access the Pin to Top button by clicking the dropdown menu arrow on any post, as seen below:

Image via Facebook

Our friends over at Buffer shared the results of pinning one of their updates:

For pinned updates on Facebook, we noticed 30 extra views, three extra likes, and three extra shares in a 24-hour period. This would mean an extra 150 views, 15 likes, and 15 shares were a post to be pinned throughout the workweek.” – Buffer

To get the most out of your pinned post on Black Friday, pin an image that features the same key points as your new Facebook cover image. A Hubspot study found that Facebook status updates containing images saw 104% more comments, 54% more likes, and 84% more click-throughs than those that didn’t.

Step 5: Earn yourself the “Very responsive to messages” badge

Whether you’re responding to tweets on Twitter, replying to messages on Facebook, or quickly answering emails, good customer service has the power to ease a buyer’s mind.

Good customer service takes many forms, but according to Digital’s Customer Service Benchmark, live chat has a 73% satisfaction rate, compared with email at 61% and phone at 44%.

To help brands better demonstrate their dedication to fast, attentive customer service, Facebook introduced the “Very responsive to messages” badge that appears on profile sidebars. Here’s what it might look like on your page:

Image via Facebook

According to Facebook, your Facebook Business Page needs to achieve a 90% response rate and median response time of 5 minutes over 7 consecutive days to become eligible to receive the badge. You’ve got plenty of time between now and Black Friday to earn one, so start making customer service a priority and do your best to speed up response times. To make it easier to reply to questions on-the-go, install the Facebook Pages app for Android and iPhone.


Easier than it sounded, right? If you followed the steps outlined above, your business is now armed with a killer Facebook Business Page that’s heavily optimized to help you increase sales on Black Friday.

Did I miss anything? Scroll down to the comments section to let me know what you thought about today’s article. I’m happy to add clarification or answer any questions you might have. Good luck!