Website satisfaction surveys

When you start planning a website feedback survey you’re likely to have a lot of questions in mind about the most effective way to go about it.  How long should your survey be? What are the best questions to ask? When is the best time to promote a survey during a user visit to your site? How frequently to survey? What are the benefits of surveys compared to web stats analysis or usability testing?

The following resources provide some answers (and will probably also raise some more questions…)

Paul Boag provides some useful advice on website surveys on his Boagworld site. Creating a better survey summarises twelve ways you can make your surveys more effective, including avoiding distracting your users by the way you promote your survey and remembering to consider best practice for form design.  Improving your site with user feedback is also interesting. It looks at the role of questionnaires and surveys within a range of options for getting feedback, including face to face, web stats, search queries and third party applications. Importantly, it also discusses how to assess feedback once you’ve collected it so that you can decide which suggestions to implement.

Analytics Basics: Visitor Surveys and Mazimize Surveys’ Effectiveness are two pieces by Neil Mason on ClickZ. Advice here includes to be clear about your survey’s purpose and to keep it short and simple. Remember the need to test surveys before going live and make sure the survey complements your brand as “poorly executed online surveys can damage the brand whether they live on the site or are sent via e-mail”.

The Three Greatest Survey Questions Ever is a nice blog post by Avinash Kaushik advocating a simple approach to survey implementation. The “three greatest questions” are:

  • What is the purpose of your visit to our website today?
  • Were you able to complete your task today?
  • If you were not able to complete your task today, why not?

From the same blog, see also Got Surveys? Recommendations from the Trenches which includes discussions of  benchmarking for surveys, the usefulness of open-ended questions, targeting survey participants, integrating your survey analysis with clickstream data and the benefits of using surveys as a continuous and ongoing measurement system.

User satisfaction provides advice on website surveys from the UK guidance for government websites on Measuring Website Quality, including suggested core questions for surveys.

How to make an online survey work is an article from Webmaster-Now by Phil Blasco which provides general advice and some suggested questions.

How to build response rates for online surveys is one of several useful articles on the Demographix site. It considers a key issue with online surveys – how to increase response rates. Suggestions include using incentives if appropriate, thinking carefully about the wording of the survey invitation and best practice for promoting a survey on your web site.

10 Tips to Improve your Surveys is an article on the Zoomerang site. Among other suggestions, it emphasises keeping questions simple and rating scales consistent through your surveys. It also suggests sending reminders to people who have not completed the survey to boost your completion rate.

Once you’re ready to create your feedback survey, there are now plenty of online survey solutions available to choose from. If you want to trial one before you commit to spending money, then  SurveyMonkey, PollDaddy, Zoomerang and SurveyGizmo all have free basic services with paid-for professional versions