How To Use Facebook Ads Keyword Targeting

Learn how you can use Google Ads to create Facebook Ads keyword targeting that uses Google's keywords to target your ads for new audiences on Facebook.

Why Should You Use Facebook Ads Keyword Targeting?

While Facebook Ads has plenty of great choices when it comes to its targeting options, sometimes using your existing keyword data to create a Facebook ad campaign can kickstart your Facebook ad campaigns faster. 

The benefit of this method is that you can skip the use of interest-based Facebook ad campaigns altogether or test other targeting opportunities together. 

For example, if you discover during your keyword research that a particular keyword is perfect for your business, and you want to use that data also in your Facebook Ads. 

Depending on the products and services, a keyword can be more targeted than just interests from Facebook Ads targeting.

To breakdown this method further, we need to realize the two ways of achieving similar results:

One being the paid method via Google Ads (You can use other search engine marketing platforms too), and the other being the free method of using pre-existing website data.

The method shown in the article, won’t have many use cases, but when you need it, it may come in handy.

For example, it can help you profitably scale your ad spend if you have found a keyword that mainly works well. 

For simplicity, we are going to use only one keyword setup in our Google Ads. You can modify this amount by the number you need and how keyword diversified you want your keyword-based audience to be. 

In A Nutshell, How to Facebook Ads Keyword Targeting?

We will use A Google Ads campaign to bring visitors to our website, with the keywords we desire or decided upon earlier research, and using the Facebook Pixel to create custom audiences and lookalike audiences that you can use in Facebook Ads. 

While you can use existing web visitor data to use in your Facebook Ads, especially from those pages that are ranking for a particular profitable keyword for you, using Google Ads will be more precise and faster.  

What using Google Ads here offers us is speed. Through the implementation speed, we can quickly create keyword-based audiences that give us flexibility in our digital marketing strategies.   

Facebook Ads Keyword Targeting In A Nutshell

You will need a couple of things implemented before attempting the method.

What Do You Need For Facebook Ads Keyword Targeting

Before starting with the methods, you must have the Facebook Pixel installed on your website; without it, the technique won’t work. 

Learn more about installing Facebook Pixel on your website here.

Another crucial step is to have Google Analytics installed as well. 

Next one is optional, but highly recommended: 

Setting up Google Analytics Goals and conversions in Facebook Ads (event setup tool in the Events Manager, for example.)

Using Google Ads to Achieve Facebook Ads Keyword Targeting 

Let’s start by creating a Google Ads campaign; we will skip the actual part of building one, as we are only interested in the data that we can collect from the campaign results. 

Here you can find a comprehensive Google Ads guide if you need help on that.

  1. Create your campaign
  2. Choose the bidding options etc
  3. Crucial STEP: Choose the location. Choose one country, this essential for later.  
  4. Choose the keywords you want to target then on your Facebook Ads campaign.
  5. Create your ads

Using Google Ads Keywords For Facebook Ads Keyword Targeting

Next comes the crucial step: Think carefully about where to send your traffic. 

This page will be the page from which data we use later for the Facebook Ads campaigns. 

Preferably, your landing page is already a keyword-optimized to gain the best results from Google Ads. And you’re going to use the landing page as the Facebook Ads landing page as well. 

As your campaign gets going, make sure your Pixel is tracking everything. 

When you have at least 100 clicks from your Google Ads campaign, preferably 500 or more (confirmed clicks from Google Analytics), we can transform the data into a keyword-based audience for Facebook Ads. 

The more clicks you get in this stage will all benefit you more in the long-run. As more detailed user behavior data you have at this point, the more accurate your Facebook audience and lookalikes will be. 

For example, you can specify users who didn’t bounce or stayed on the page the longest. Remember that you’ll need at least 100 users, but if you’re running a successful Google Ads account, that shouldn’t be a problem. 

Creating The Audience For Facebook Ads Keyword Targeting

As we have collected enough data to turn into effective custom and lookalike audiences, it’s time to do them correctly.

First, head over to your Facebook Ad Manager, or Facebook Business Manager and go to Audiences. 

Events Manager Facebook Ads

Creating The Keyword Custom Audience

To create your keyword custom audience: 

  1. Make sure you have the right Pixel chosen
  2. Choose ‘People who visited specific web pages”. 
  3. “In the past X days” – choose day amount, you ran your Google Ads campaign
  4. In the URL section – Choose the landing page to which you sent traffic with Google Ads
  5. Name your audience accordingly Keyword – Audience – Landing Page – Purpose 

Now you have created a custom audience based on the previously chosen keyword. 

Technically, we created a retargeting custom audience, which you can effectively choose to retarget people who visited your Google Ads landing page with a keyword in mind.  

The Creation Of Keyword-Based Custom Audience For Facebook Ads

Creating The Keyword Lookalike Audience

Now we are getting to the real benefits of this method, as without the keyword lookalike audience, it would just be a retargeting ad. Beneficial for sure, but we want to get more. 

  1. Select Your Lookalike Source – Choose from the list the custom audience you just created
  2. Select Your Audience Location – Choose the same location as you used in your Google Ads campaign
  3. Select audience size
    1. Between 1-10%
    2. The size indicates the similarity to the same keyword audience. 1 % means the closest and 10% the furthest in any given location 
  4. Create the audience
  5. Use the audience in your next Facebook Ads keyword-targeted campaign. 
  6. Bonus tip: Using 1-10%, you can create multiple lookalike audiences from the same audience that you can test later on. 

Keyword-based Lookalike Audience For Facebook Ads

Testing Your Facebook Keyword Audiences

As you start using the audiences in your ads, you need to make sure that they are working for you and bringing results. 

As the method itself is not a guarantee of better results, it offers a new point of view to diversify your campaigns. 

So how to test the campaign? 

Following the performance marketing mindset, define your goals, and measure results against said goals. 

That out of the way, what you need to do is to create multiple ad sets within Facebook ads campaign, that utilizes different lookalike audience sizes.

For example, a test with 3-5 different ad sets: 

  1. 1%
  2. 1-2%
  3. 3%
  4. 6%
  5. 10%

You want to do this by testing different audience sizes, and your probability of finding a capable keyword audience is higher. 

When creating this type of keyword-based campaigns, you should test it against interest-based campaigns, and other lookalike audiences. 

For instance, a lookalike from all your website visitors could be a default to test your keyword-based lookalikes.

Also remember to, as this method utilizes Google Ads a lot, remember to test performance against those results. 

The point here is to find a profitable online marketing strategy for your business and not explore a curiosity. 

The Free Method For Facebook Ads Keyword Targeting

The only difference in the free method is that we won’t be using Google Ads to send keyword-based traffic to a specific landing page. 

What we are going to do instead is, look from our analytics the organic landing pages and create the custom audiences and lookalike audiences based on those landing pages. 

So the method is the same, choose the landing page URL that gained organic traffic. 

To make better analysis, you have to have connected the Google Search Console to your Google Analytics accounts to see which keywords affect which landing pages. 

Make a spreadsheet of the URLs and the keywords that affect those pages and start creating the audiences the same way we mentioned earlier. 

The cons of the free method are quite obvious: 

  • It will be harder to pinpoint what keyword triggered a specific landing page in these audiences. Your organic landing pages will probably have more traffic sources attributing to the overall number of users. 
  • Speed. A new page to gain organic traffic for this method to be viable will be slow. Results from search engine optimization don’t happen instantly. And only beneficial if you’re using an old page that already ranks in Google.
  • Your traffic might come from a lot of different locations, making it harder to create lookalike audiences later on. Remember, you need at least 100 actions in a specific country or region before you can create lookalike audiences.


If you want to use and create keyword-based targeting in Facebook Ads, This is how you would go about it. 

A great benefit of this method is that if you’re mostly using Google ads as the primary source of paid traffic for your website, with the technique, you can expand and scale your paid traffic sources with similar types of audiences.

However, something to consider is that Facebook Ads have their targeting options that let you discover entirely new audiences from different points of view. And using these options will help you expand your brand into new audiences and not relying solely on keyword-based advertising. 

Learn how to grow sales with our Facebook Ads guide.

But the method helps you diversify your overall strategy, and helps you discover more growth on the data you already acquired.