3 Tips On Writing Good Survey Questions

What are some tips on writing good survey questions?

  1. Know your objectives
  2. Make your questions straight to the point
  3. Use the right question and answer type


Surveys remain the most convenient and efficient way for companies to acquire insight, answers, and analytics on specific matters. They come in handy when describing and curating a vast population. Although there are several other research methods available, surveys are quick and accurate, especially if you’re looking for targeted results.

Surveys can only be successful if you strategically plan them. It should be structured in the best way possible and have good survey questions. A quality survey will be able to uncover all the answers that are essential to you, evoke discussion, perform a huge role in decision making, and lastly, compare behaviors and results. To assist in producing the best survey, we’ll cover some tips on how to write the best questions.


Know Your Objectives

Graphics of an office meeting tackling business objectives

Before making any decision, you must first start with why. Aligning your purpose and goals is a crucial tip in making a quality survey. Especially for surveys that are primarily used for research purposes. Assess why you need your research and what it is you hope to accomplish. If you are a business owner and want to augment your audience, what kind of data do you want to discover?

Knowing your objectives will ultimately give you a smoother time in making a survey and will give you the exact results you need. It will also prevent you from having unnecessary questions that may provoke your audience to click the exit button. When trying to discover your goals for your survey, ask the following questions:

  • What exactly do I need to know?
  • Why do I need to know this?
  • How can this data benefit me once completed?


Make Your Questions Straight To The Point

Graphics of a man in front of the survey he made

Now that you know your objectives, it’s best to know that properly constructing your choice of words plays a huge factor in getting the answers that you need. You’d be surprised by how subtle wording differences can be a huge factor as to how your audience will be answering your survey.

Generate your questions to be easily understood by using basic and simple language. One tip for constructing good questions is to write a question that your audience won’t have to reread. Use universal terms and languages. Use words with clear meanings and phrases that are understood anywhere around the world.

Lastly, be specific with your questions. Some can be easily misunderstood and mean different things to various people. For example, instead of asking “Do you drink alcohol regularly?” you can approach it in a more specific way such as “How many days per week, on average, do you drink alcohol?” These questions will deliver you a more specific and targeted answer.


Use The Right Question and Answer Type

Graphics of a businessman thinking

A vital point to consider in creating good and effective survey questions is knowing how to ask them. Know if your questions are qualitative or quantitative. Qualitative questions are usually open-ended and are beneficial to answering questions like “why?” On the other hand, qualitative questions are closed-ended. A mix of both questions in your survey is a good balance.

Some of the most common question types for surveys are:

  • Multiple-choice questions
  • Ranking
  • Likert scales
  • Matrix questions
  • Dropdown questions
  • Demographic questions

The ranking method is one type of response common to surveys. You might have come across it in some of the surveys you’ve answered in the past. When you request your audience to rank items in order of importance, make sure to limit your ranking. Try not to surpass five items. Using too many rankings can cause your audience to feel confused and overwhelmed, which may compel them to abandon your survey.


Key Takeaway

By keeping in mind these tips for good survey questions, you’ll be able to avoid instances of your audience abandoning your study. You will also be able to acquire the insights you need. Remember that good survey questions take time and thorough planning. Acknowledging and implementing this for all your survey questions will steer you to good results!

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