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Refine Your Facebook Remarketing with Tiers & Time On Site

Published: May 16, 2017

Author: Trevor Morrissey

We can all agree that remarketing is a no-brainer to move potential customers down the funnel and turn them into a buyer or a lead. The real question is, are you doing enough to get the most out of your remarketing on Facebook? In this post, we’ll define a tiered approach which should help you do just that.

Tools for Your Tiers

A rule of thumb for remarketing is always to prioritize users based on how valuable they are to you, based on any indication of intent to convert. Common ways to do so are through site engagement – those who have visited a particular depth of page that shows interest, abandoned your shopping cart, or converted at a point higher up in the funnel – to then pursue for that ultimate conversion goal. We’ll call these “action-based audiences.”
Many advertisers may not have the site flow that enables you to leverage some of the strategies described above, or may have relatively small action-based audiences. Given Facebook CPCs are largely dependent upon audience size, we’re now lucky enough to have another way to supplement these indications of intent, enabling your tiers to contain a larger number of users for cheaper CPCs.

Time On Site

Earlier in 2017, Facebook gave us the ability to target users based on the duration of time they spent on your site, something that’s been available for search marketers through Analytics for quite some time. When you navigate to create a custom audience based off site traffic, you should see this targeting option:

You can create those three time-on-site groupings: Top 5%, Top 10%, and Top 25%. Thanks, Facebook –that’s pretty neat.

Creating Your Tiers

Now comes the strategic part where you make the decision of how to begin grouping your tools described above into your ad set targets. This grouping is made up of your tools described above: “action-based audiences” + “time-on-site audiences.” These groupings are largely dependent on the audience sizes of your tools and how to best group them in an effort to maintain size in each tier, so you don’t end up with outrageous CPCs.
I would recommend the three-tiered approach outlined below, but you could also roll with just two tiers, or even go large with four if you have numerous tools for your tiers at your fingertips.

Three-Tiered Trifecta

At this point, you take a look at those action- based audience sizes and decide where your time on site audiences will nestle in nicely.

Tier 1

If the number of users in your top action-based audiences – those you consider to be the closest to converting – are large, then only use the Top 5% time on site to place in your Tier 1 ad set.
If you don’t have sizeable action-based audiences, you could include both Top 5% & Top 10% with those action-based audiences in Tier 1.

Tier 2

You then place the remaining action-based audiences that have shown some intent, but aren’t on the brink of converting, into this ad set. Top it off with the remaining time on site audience(s) that you haven’t used already.

Tier 3

At this point, you’ve exhausted all your tools, so you then turn in a different direction for a sophisticated approach. Get creative and identify certain Interests/Demographics/Behaviors/Household Income/whatever you can find within Facebook’s numerous targeting capabilities to layer on top of your “All Visitors” audience. Users have most definitely visited your site who aren’t a fit for your offering; by combing through them with this layer of targeting, you minimize your risk of pursuing someone who wasn’t a fit from the start.
You can then pursue the remainder of your “All Visitors” audience, if you deem it necessary, knowingly limiting budget and setting your threshold for acceptable CPC to be low.


Bucketing users into their appropriate tiers allows you to set budgets in favor of users who have shown the intent to convert, accept a more expensive click for the higher tiers, and serve them messaging fitting to their stage in your purchase funnel.
Most importantly, it gets you away from a general approach to your remarketing and enables you to get the most out of what Facebook has to offer. Make your remarketing dollars work!

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