How to get the most out of your online survey

How to get the most out of your online survey

Surveys are a quick way to get feedback from people who visit your website.  They provide first-person responses from your actual users that can give valuable insights in just a few minutes. They’re an invaluable tool in marketing and can contribute to the success of a website. 

However, there are a few things to consider in the planning, creation, and launch of your survey to get the most out of it.  Many people make the mistake of rushing surveys and not asking the right questions. It’s definitely worth spending some extra time getting it right. 

This article will explore the main things you need to think about before launching an online survey, including what type of questions to include. 

What do you want to learn from your survey? 

The first step when planning your survey is establishing what you want to achieve. Having a specific goal regarding your users’ needs and drives will help you create your survey and increase its chances of providing the information that you need. 

Surveys can help you gain insight into how users rate their experience, what they like or dislike, what information they are looking to find, and so on. Surveys can vary vastly depending on the type of website you’re working on. 

For example, e-commerce websites can strive to optimise their buying journey and try to discover why people do not complete their purchases, while a service website can use a survey to improve its content and structure to boost engagement. Once you determine the purpose of your survey, you will use it as a guide when you create it.  

What questions do you include in your survey? 

Keep your questions specific to your survey goal. It is easy to start adding more questions than needed and divert from what is really important to find out at this stage. 

Remember that you can always launch more surveys in the future, and the more specific and targeted they are, the better they will perform. The type and order of questions impacts the success rate of your survey. 

Long and complex questions can cause your users to drop off, while leading questions will skew the feedback they provide. Start your survey with an easy open-ended question to enable high engagement, and ask concise and clear open-ended questions after that. Keep the survey as short as possible for a high completion rate and to ensure people will be willing to participate again in the future.  

Types of questions 

Use the right types of questions to boost the completion rate of your survey.  Formatting your question in the best way will help you avoid any confusion and increase user engagement. You can see the main question types below and when they are used: 

Open-ended questions 

Survey respondents provide their answers in an open format without any pre-set answers. This way, you can receive additional information from what you were anticipating, as answers are not limited. Open-ended questions can be very informative but also depend on the respondent and the effort they are willing to put in the answer.  

Multiple-choice questions 

The questions have pre-set answers that people can choose from. The main advantages are fast responses. Multiple-choice questions are also less likely to cause any confusion because of their available answers to choose from.  

Scale questions 

People rate their experiences or feelings about a statement on a certain scale.  Scale questions allow you to map user satisfaction or opinion on a scale and determine general trends.  

Test your survey before it launches  

Make sure to test your survey before sending it out. Share your survey internally and ask them to complete it and provide feedback. It will help you to refine and reword some questions to ensure that the survey really works. 

In summary, it’s crucial that you spend time fine-tuning your questions. Using the wrong types of questions can not only get you irrelevant answers but can cause users to exit the survey completely. This is where testing can help. You can make adjustments after getting feedback from your internal team. Once you’ve done all this and you’re happy with your questions, then you’re ready to launch your survey.

Jana Petrova
Jana Petrova
Articles: 4

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