The Number 1 Mistake Businesses Are Making When it Comes to Facebook Advertising


So often I'll be scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed and click on an ad out of curiosity. I'll land on a beautifully designed landing page but decide not to opt-in to their free offering. It just isn't right for me.

And that's okay! Not everyone will want your free offering (Note: If you don't yet have a free offering, read this post).

But then for the next week, I will keep seeing that same ad. 

This is where businesses are making a big mistake!

I've already clicked on the ad before and I wasn't interested. Seeing the same ad again and again isn't going to make me change my mind.

All this means is that the business is wasting their advertising budget showing me the same ad over and over. 

They already know that I'm somewhat interested because I clicked on their original ad. Sometimes I just need a little more convincing, but showing me the same ad over and over again isn't going to do it.

Instead, the business would be much better off retargeting me with a different ad. They could offer me a different freebie or some useful information to prove their value. This would be a far more effective way to allocate their advertising budget.

So how can they do this?

Below I'll step you through the process to:

1. Exclude people that have already clicked on your ad from seeing the same ad again, and

2. Retarget those that clicked on your ad but didn't yet opt-in with a new ad.


Excluding people from seeing the same ad again

First thing's first, to be able to do any of this you will need to install Facebook's tracking pixel on your website. If you haven't already done this, you can find instructions here.

Creating a custom audience

Once you have the tracking pixel installed, you will need to create a custom audience of traffic to your landing page. To do this:

1. Access your Ads Manager through Facebook.

Facebook Ads Manager

2. Click on the 3 lines in the top left of the screen and select ‘Audiences’

Facebook Audiences

3. Click on the ‘Create Audience’ button and select ‘Custom Audience’ from the dropdown.

Custom Audience

4. In the popup that appears, select ‘Website Traffic’

Website traffic custom audience

5. In the dropdown next to ‘Website Traffic’ select ‘People who visit specific web pages’.

People who visit specific web pages

6. Copy the end part of the URL of your landing page and insert it into the field box where it says 'URL contains'.

7. Change the amount of days to ‘180’ and tick to 'include past website traffic'.

8. Give your audience a name and click ‘Create Audience’.

Custom audience snapshot



Now that you've created your custom audience of traffic to your landing page, we can exclude this audience from seeing your ad. To do this:

1. Access the Power Editor section of Facebook by clicking on the 3 lines at the top of your screen.

Power Editor

2. Click on the 'Ad Sets' tab to access the ad set you want to update.

(If you don't yet have your campaign created, choose 'Create campaign' to set up your campaign. Go through the steps to select your campaign objective and choose your targeting options. Then meet us at Step 4).

Ad set level

3. Hover over the ad set that you want to update, click the arrow to the right and select 'Edit'.

Edit ad set

4. This is the most important step as it is where we exclude the custom audience you just set up from seeing your ad. This means that anyone who has previously landed on your landing page won't see your ad again. 

So to do this, under custom audiences click 'Exclude'

Exclude custom audience

5. Click in the exclude field and a dropdown will appear showing you all of your custom audiences.

Custom audience selections

6. Select the audience you created in the steps above based on traffic to your landing page.

Exclude existing traffic to landing page

7. If you haven't already done so, finish setting up your campaign by adding your placement and bidding options and creating the ads within your ad set. 

8. Once you are done and you're ready to save your changes, click the 'Review Changes' button to apply your changes.

Review changes

By simply excluding this custom audience you can allocate your advertising budget much more efficiently.


Retargeting with a new ad

Now that you are no longer wasting your advertising budget, you can reallocate some of that budget into a retargeting campaign. 

By doing this, you can show a new ad to those people that clicked on your initial ad but didn't opt-in.

To do this, follow Steps 1 to 8 above, creating a custom audience for the following pages of your site: 

1. People who visit your opt-in thank you page (this is the page of your website that people land after they opt-in for your offering)

2. People who visit the landing page for your new ad

We will also use the custom audience you created previously of people who visited the landing page for your initial ad.

Retargeting campaign

Once you have created your new custom audiences, head over to Power Editor and create a campaign for your retargeting ad.

When it comes to targeting, select the following options to target people that clicked on your initial ad but didn't opt-in:

1. In the 'Custom Audience' field select the custom audience you created of traffic to the landing page of your initial ad.

2. Then click on the 'Exclude' button. In the exclude field, exclude the custom audience you created of traffic to your opt-in thank you page. 

3. Also select to exclude the custom audience you created of traffic to your new ads landing page (again, you don't want people who click on this new ad to continue to see the ad in their newsfeed).

Custom audiences

That's it!

By creating these 3 custom audiences you can ensure that your ads continue to reach new potential customers.