A website survey is a survey that is shown on a website in order to get feedback from website visitors. It usually consists of a few short questions that are displayed in a slide-in or pop-up widget, although it can also be shown full-screen. Other terms used for such surveys are "pop-up survey" and "on-site survey". They are sometimes referred to as "targeted website surveys" in order to indicate the precise 'targeting' capabilities of a survey tool to configure when and to whom these surveys are shown.
Unlike web analytics, for example, which can tell you what your customers do when they visit your site but not what's driving or holding back their decisions, website surveys do - painting a much broader picture of their attitudes, opinions, and behaviors.
Website surveys can suit a wide range of business goals, some of which we'll discuss below:
Typical questions would be:
To understand reasons for shopping card or page abandonment you can show a one-question survey at the moment a visitor seems to be leaving your website, that is, show an exit intent survey, asking - for example - "What would have convinced you to purchase the item(s) in your cart?", or "Is there anything preventing you from signing up". The same exit intent trigger can be used to show an exit intent popup offering a discount, possibly in return for an email address.
A well-established method is for example the Net Pomoter Score metric, that first asks a closed question like "How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague", followed by a an open-ended question "What's the most important reason for your score?". Such a short survey provides you both with a measurable quantitative mean score which can be tracked over time, and insightful qualitative data that can be used to improve your business.
Instead of guessing, why not get real feedback from your customers about what area you should focus on next? By asking customers what products or services they would like you to offer, you can get real-time feedback about what they really want.
Some people aren't ready to buy when they first come into contact with your brand. Offering educational material is a great way to keep this type of lead active. Not only does this add value, it may also help overcome buying objections. Typically the more value you offer a prospect, the more likely they are to choose your product or service when they are ready to buy.
Surveys that get a bad rap typically have very little relevance and are hard to exit. Using surveys isn't a competition to capture the most responses, the goal should be to capture quality answers from highly relevant respondents. Instead of ruining the user experience, website surveys can actually enhance user experience when done right.
Let's outline some best practices that you can use to capture truly actionable insights from your website visitors.
The best way to ensure your website surveys are relevant is to target based on behavior, like:
These are just some of the different triggers to deploy your survey. Which of your website visitors should receive your survey? Current customers, non-purchasers only, just mobile users? It's up to you, but remember highly targeted surveys work best, the more relevant your survey is, the better the responses typically will be.
Using quantitative, rating based questions like "On a scale of 0-10 how likely are you to recommend our product/service" are great but a number alone doesn’t provide enough information for change. If you get a 2/10 where do you start making improvements? You need a "WHY" behind the score to make informed decisions.
That’s where the power of a qualitative follow up question like "What was the primary reason for your answer?" comes. Together, a score rating plus a "why" can give you the information that you need to make real change.
Your survey software must have smart logic enabled. Your survey should have the ability to change follow-up questions based on the respondent's previous answer(s). Smart logic should understand the previous question/answer and ask the follow-up question which matches the answer. Deploying surveys that don’t make sense is one of the quickest ways to lose users - so make sure your survey has smart logic enabled.
In an age of attention spans that last about as long as a Snapchat, brevity is an absolute must. People are pressed for time, and even when they’re not, the fewer, to-the-point questions that you ask your visitors, the more responses you’re bound to get, and vice versa. The same goes for the length of survey questions themselves.
But how long is too long? While there’s no specific magic number, website surveys focusing on 1 to 5 ultra-concise questions is generally a good rule of thumb.