7 Facebook Ad Targeting Tips to Boost ROI

Want to significantly boost your Facebook advertising ROI in 2020? Targeting is one of the most important components of any campaign, and these 7 Facebook ad targeting tips will definitely help…

1) Retarget Website Visitors

The people that have already visited your website are much hotter prospects than those that haven’t.

They have demonstrated that they’re interested in your products, services or content (or they wouldn’t have visited your website in the first place) and they are a great audience to market to.

Nearly every business I’ve worked with generates a lower cost per conversion from website visitors than regular cold audiences.

To retarget website visitors you need to have the Facebook Pixel installed on your website. Here’s a short video that shows you how to do that:

Once you’ve installed the Facebook Pixel, you need to create a website custom audience and add the custom audience to your campaign.

This article gives you step by step instructions on how to retarget website visitors on Facebook.

#2 Use Really Large Target Audiences

A lot of advertisers love how specific you can be when targeting people on Facebook.

But it’s easy to make your audiences too narrow and accidentally exclude a large percentage of your target market.

As Facebook’s targeting algorithms become more sophisticated, I’m seeing great results from really large audiences – 5% or more of the general population.

With this strategy, you are effectively letting Facebook work out the targeting for you.

However, using this strategy does require some patience. Your cost per conversion is likely to be quite high when you first start your campaign, as Facebook needs time to workout who the best prospects are in your target market.

But once Facebook has optimised your campaigns, you may see a lower Facebook advertising cost than you would have achieved, with much more specific targeting.

#3 Exclude Audiences to Avoid Audience Overlap

It’s easy to create 4 different ad sets that use 4 different targeting options, and think that you’re advertising to 4 different groups of people.

That’s highly unlikely to be the case.

For example, a targeting option could contain 80% of the individuals from another targeting option. Particularly if they are closely related.

Advertising to those two targeting options in separate ad sets, will create a huge amount of audience overlap. Which can distort your results and lead to ad fatigue.

To combat this, you can exclude targeting options used in one ad set ,from another ad set.

It’s easy to do. Navigate to the ad set level within your campaign and scroll down the to Detailed Targeting section:

Detailed targeting Facebook

Click Exclude People and a new text-field will appear.

Then simply enter the targeting option that you would like to exclude. It should look something like this:

exclude targeting options

#4 Be Careful with Interest Targeting

Interest targeting options are not as accurate as most people think and can easily be misleading.

Where possible, I prefer to use other types of cold targeting such as demographic and behavioural.

This is especially the case for B2B companies.

I often see companies targeting people who are interested in X, when they actually want to target people who are X. There is a big difference between the two.

For example, if you want to advertise to Dentists, don’t use the Dentist interest targeting option. That will contain everyone that has liked a Dentist’s page and only a small percentage of those people will actually be Dentists.

Instead, use the Dentist job title targeting options:

Dentist targeting options on Facebook

#5 Retarget Add to Carts

Depending on how good your checkout process is, a large percentage of your add to carts will not go on to make a purchase.

Retargeting these people is one of my top Facebook ad targeting tips for eCommerce businesses and can significantly boost your ROAS (return on ad spend).

To retarget people that add something to their cart on your website but do not purchase, you need to have the Facebook Pixel installed properly.

The major eCommerce platforms have direct Facebook Pixel integration which makes this very easy to do.

Then you need to head into the Audiences tab in Ads Manager and click Create Audience and Custom Audience.

That will bring up a window that looks like this:

Facebook custom audience options

Then select Website Traffic from the menu above.

Now you need to choose which type of website custom audience you want to create. For this strategy, click the little arrow next to All website visitors and select AddToCart from your events:

Add To Cart Custom Audience

Unless you generate thousands of add to carts every month, I think it’s best to make this custom audience as big as possible. So change the 30 days to 180 days, give your new custom audience a name and select Create Audience.

To target this new custom audience, navigate to the ad set level in your campaign and scroll down to the Custom Audiences section.

How to target custom audience at ad set level

Then simply enter the name of you new add to cart custom audience and you’re good to go.

NOTE: If you only offer one product then it’s best to exclude your purchasers from your add to cart ad set.

#6 Stay Broad When Advertising Locally

Businesses that operate on a local basis, inevitably end up with much smaller target audiences.

Because of that, it’s very important that they keep their targeting options fairly broad.

Fortunately Facebook let you know when your target audiences are too narrow:

Facebook audience definition

#7 Lookalike Audiences

Lookalike audiences are the ultimate cold audience targeting option and my #1 Facebook ad targeting tip.

I use lookalike audiences with almost every business that I work with, and heavily rely on them to scale campaigns.

Lookalike audiences consist of people that are very similar to another group of people.

For example, you can create a lookalike audience from your previous customers, and that lookalike audience will contain people that are very similar to your previous customers.

People that are very similar to your previous customers are usually fantastic prospects for your business, and generate low conversion costs.

Check out this article to find out exactly how to create lookalike audiences and use them to scale Facebook ad campaigns.


Here’s the full list of Facebook ad targeting tips:

#1 Retarget Website Visitors

#2 Use Really Large Target Audiences

#3 Exclude Audiences to Avoid Audience Overlap

#4 Be Careful with Interest Targeting

#5 Retarget Add to Carts

#6 Stay Broad When Advertising Locally

#7 Lookalike audiences

  • August 22, 2018

    Very useful tips. Thanks! Do you know if there’s any way of targeting people by their first language? I’m asking because one of my target groups are English teachers who are not ‘native speakers’ of the language, i.e. who do not speak English as their first language. So if it was possible to exclude those who speak English as a mother tongue that might decrease my ad costs. However, I haven’t been able to find this targeting option in FB ads

  • January 21, 2019

    “Interest targeting options are not as accurate as most people think and can easily be misleading.” totally agree with you! That’s why I decided to target my competitor’s audience by using free trial on LeadEnforce.com. And it gave its results.

  • August 5, 2020

    Hey Bro Ben,

    I’m a fan of yours and i always follow your posts on YouTube, Right now i need your assistance with my Targeting, I’m new in the Affiliate marketing, I just lunched my campaign two days ago, but i’m not making any sales yet, I think i would need your help to succeed and target the right Audience…


  • September 21, 2023

    Your article gave me a lot of inspiration, I hope you can explain your point of view in more detail, because I have some doubts, thank you.

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