The Google Ads strategy that increased online engagement for one of America’s oldest organizations fighting gun violence.

The Brady Foundation Case Study


About The Nonprofit

Brady is one of America’s oldest and biggest nonpartisan organizations with the goal of ending the gun violence epidemic in the United States. Founded in 1974, their programs have lead the fight against domestic violence, family fire and mass shootings in the United States. Thanks to Brady, gun background checks were made mandatory by law with the Brady Bill, passed by President Bill Clinton in 1993. Today, Brady continues to advocate for the adoption of common-sense gun laws across America’s political divides.

What Their Goals Were

Brady’s goal was to increase the number of visits to their website through Google Ads. While their organic ranking was healthy, Brady was looking for a boost in order to gain a competitive edge on the search engine result pages (SERPs) and get the online traffic rates they needed to improve their digital readership.

Like many nonprofits, a major element of their marketing objective was to “get the word out there” and increase digital engagement with the content on their website. They understood the role Google Ads could play in increasing digital readership — by boosting visits to their website with an augmented ranking on the SERPs.

I’ve been impressed with ConnectAd’s ability to take a complicated situation, like America’s gun violence epidemic, and drill down to terms that people are using in their searches. It’s difficult because of certain [Google restrictions] around using the word ‘gun’ or ‘shooting’, but the team at ConnectAd know how to navigate those challenges so we can direct people to our resources. By being able to adjust ongoing campaigns so quickly, it makes us a more publicly accessible source of information. I would absolutely recommend their services!”
Cordy Galligan
VP Communications, Brady

Our Custom Strategy

Keyword Research

We started by doing keyword research. Our goal was to find search terms and phrases that real people were searching on Google, which were the most relevant to Brady’s mission. Since building awareness was Brady’s goal, we focused on targeting the search terms that indicated a user was in the awareness or information seeking stage. Being mindful of Google’s restrictions surrounding sensitive or controversial topics, we made use of several keyword research tools in order to get the most accurate and up-to-date picture for search volume trends.

Campaign Building

Our next objective was to build out a highly effective campaign that would not only generate impressions but get our target audience visiting the website. We did this by organizing our target keywords into ad groups so the campaign was set up to deliver the best ad in its repertoire, based on a user’s search. For the campaign’s bidding model, we decided to go with an automated strategy. In order to increase the chance the most relevant person saw and clicked on Brady’s ads, we chose machine learning to optimize the bids.

Creating Ads

The following step was to create ads with strategic headlines and calls-to-action that were specific to what real people were searching for. Our strategy was to utilize the campaign’s targeted keywords in the headlines, descriptions and URL paths of the ads. In doing so, the ads in our campaigns would obtain a higher ranking on the SERPs for queries containing the targeted keywords.

Crafting Copy

Since increasing readership was Brady’s goal, it was important that the copy in our ads truthfully reflected the information that could be found on Brady’s website. When a user is misled by ad copy they’ll likely leave the site immediately, resulting in a high bounce rate. By prioritizing transparency, our goal was to have a healthy bounce rate and boost Brady’s landing page experience score. In this process, truthful, relevant copy was king.


Our Results

Their website has seen a 21% increase in first time visitors and their pages have been viewed over 96,000 times — an 82% difference in traffic.”

Since teaming up with Brady in 2018, their website has seen a 21% increase in first time visitors and their pages have been viewed over 96,000 times — an 82% difference in traffic. That’s huge. This is how we know an increasing number of new users are finding Brady’s website through our paid search strategy and more users are engaging with the content on their website.

What is a nonprofit without digital advocacy? User engagement is a key performance indicator that measures the success of Brady’s digital outreach strategy. Data from our conversion analytics has shown a yearly increase in the user interaction rate with Brady’s online advocacy forms.

In addition, the bounce rate decreased by nearly 43%. This is proof that not only are more new users finding Brady’s website, but they are staying and interacting with multiple pages. Informational pages, such as gun violence statistics and information about their individual programs, are important assets of Brady’s advocacy strategy. With the Google Ads campaigns, we’ve seen readership of these pages increase dramatically.

With a specialized Google Ads strategy, Brady was able to tangibly increase their online performance
and extend the reach of their digital advocacy.

Learn how your nonprofit can take the next step in it’s digital strategy today.