Survey Basics


Before you start any well-meaning survey, you have to start with the basics. You have to ask yourself one important question: What do I want to validate with my survey?

From this question, you form your first hypothesis.

One good example of a hypothesis is: “Lowering my product’s pricing draw in more customers.”

In order to prove whether this is true or false, I run a survey on my website’s pricing page. I set it to show whenever a person is about to leave the pricing page and the question I ask my visitors is “Is our pricing too high for you?”

If the answer is yes, I follow up with the question “What would be a fair price for you in hiring our product?”

If the answer is no, I follow up with the question “What is preventing you from trying us out?”

The answers I will gather from these questions would then be data that will either support or deny my hypothesis.

It’s super simple, really. And very powerful in directing your efforts towards the desires of your customers.

History of Surveys

Pretty sure you’ve taken at least one survey at some point in your life.

Different kinds of surveys cater to different industries. The reason why they’re everywhere is because, well, a lot of people want to know what you think, what you want to buy, and what your interests are.

Opinions gathered from surveys become significant data used by websites, companies, or other industries to improve their product or service, and customer experience. And because they’re valuable, a lot of people are going to ask you for it.

But what do we know about surveys? Other than answering multiple-choice questions and the occasional textbox we need to fill in, do we really know what surveys are?

Qeryz wants to step into a time machine to travel through space and time to discover the history of surveys and find out how using surveys can be used for your website.

So hop on our spacetime ship and take this journey with us!

Where did it all Start?

Conducting a survey means that you’re gathering information from a specific group of people – a sample of individuals. And really, that’s what surveys are all about. It’s a method of asking questions and using the respondents’ answers to figure out what the next step is in your research paper or in improving your website, product, or service.

We know that the Babylonians were the first known society to have conducted a population census, but it was the Romans who were able to create an accurate census out of all ancient civilisations. Their census contributed to their wealth and expansion because they were able to tax landowners and citizens properly.

Yeah, you’re not going to use surveys for tax or population count, but even in history, surveys have shown how useful they are in maintaining and strengthening an empire.

History also taught modern surveys a thing or two about conducting surveys and the respondents who are taking them.

It’s Not The Size, It’s How You Use It

Social reformists of the vile Victorian era interviewed around 20, 000 people to make sure that everyone gets represented. But it’s proven slow and impractical. Today, researchers trust results from a sample of 600 or a thousand.

This means that you don’t need to spend a lot of time and money just to survey 20, 000 people on your blog, no siree! You only need a fraction of the population who go to your website.

Trust me, you’ll still get an unbiased and accurate information from your visitors.

Control Your Data Like How You Control Relationships                 

Statistical relationships, that is.

As you well know, surveys mean data, and data mean statistics.

Surveys allow you to see how certain factors, controlled or uncontrolled, relate with each other. In more technical terms, it’s what we call Multivariate Statistical Analysis and it’s a method where we can pick out which factors in the data are directly or indirectly related to each other.

This is perfect if you’re testing Call-to-Action’s (CTA’s) or design schemes and would like to find out how these changes are related to either an increase or decrease in user activity.

With Great Technology Comes Awesome Surveys

The 1930’s was an awesome time for the communication industry. The television became the focus of businesses, artists, and writers. Telephones are found in almost all households. Postal services were greatly improved because of developments in transportation, like air travel.

This has made it easier for people like George Gallup, an American who pioneered survey sampling techniques, to conduct surveys using a large sample.

Today we have the internet and various optimization tools to thank for making it easy for us to conduct surveys to our website audience. It’s easy for us to ask them about changes that we’ve made on our product, service, or website straightaway and without a hitch!

Trust Is A Two-Way Thing

Surveys, in the form of population or tax census, have been around for quite a long time. In the Middle Ages, the people who respond to the census usually consist of clergymen or the nobility, and they would report how many people there are and their standard of living.

The thing about that is, census takers did not trust the common man to provide accurate information. The same thing happened when in the 1800’s, the Fabian society got information on the working conditions of the poor from factory owners or their fellow socialists, not the workers themselves.

It was when Henry Mayhew, an English social researcher, decided to conduct a survey of living conditions in London, asking the common man themselves for information. No key informants, no fellow socialists, just straight to the source itself.

And you know what? Through time, they realized that if data is based on the target respondents, the information is more accurate and unbiased.

Of course, you’ll have to consider that today, the phenomenon called Social Desirability Bias is still something to look out for. But remember that numbers are your friend, if the majority says the same thing, it might not just be a case of being desirable, it’s something you have to look into immediately.

Why Should I Use It For My Website?

With the prevalence of internet-based advertising, selling, and information dumping, it’s no surprise that even customer feedback is making its way online.

Website surveys allow site owners such as yourself to gather significant customer feedback from your visitors.

One of the appeals of website surveys is that you don’t need to go door-to-door or set-up a booth, shouldering your laptop bag, and asking your visitors to rate your website. And your visitors who would rather answer your survey anonymously can do so online.

You see, not all of your visitors become long-time patrons of your website, so website surveys are the perfect way to understand visitor wants and needs.

Think of it this way, interior designers always ask their clients what feels comfortable to them after mixing and matching certain furniture and fix-its. The same can be applied to websites. In order for you to improve your conversion rate, you’ll have to nit-pick into the minds of your visitors and ask them what will make them want to see more of you.

Dissecting the Website Survey

Usually, website surveys are designed to pop-up as its own window or as a dialogue box on the side of your screen after a short delay. In this way, it’ll be easy for your visitors to notice it and decide whether to either answer your survey, or dismiss it entirely.

Different factors can be controlled when you use a website survey, and survey tools like Qeryz provide it for you. Website survey targets can be:

  • visitors who spend a specific amount of time on the website
  • the number of times a person visits your site (which is possible through cookies)
  • when visitors take a certain action like abandoning the purchase cart
  • from the traffic source, or where they found out about your site

If you’re still on-edge about website surveys, let me tell you how much they can affect you.

Expect A Domino Effect

  • With website surveys, you’ll be able to understand why visitors don’t convert to your site.

A/B testing is a fairly common exercise that everyone does to improve design, usability, and leads. But you can’t just test everything out, you have to know which ones confuse or frustrate your visitors. Website surveys help you optimize your website by pointing out what you need to prioritize.

  • Understanding what your visitors are looking for is a great way to improve how you market your website.

If you know what they’re intention is and what they want to happen when they started exploring your site helps you identify which elements of the site you need to highlight so that your visitors continue to frequent your site, and ultimately convert by purchasing or joining your e-mail list.

It’s also equally important to know how they found out about you so that you know which ones in your marketing strategy is effective, and which ones need to improve more.

  • You can also improve a product or a service with website surveys. Both compliments and complaints are now easy to get with an effective online customer feedback survey. In this way, you’ll know if customers have problems with your selling, or to help prospective customers who still have reservations in purchasing from you

This just shows that an effective and well-designed website survey allows you to improve almost all areas of your website. From improving the design to maintaining the growth of your business, it’s all possible!

The Perfect Website Survey

There are a lot of online survey tools you can choose from.

Qeryz allows for a smooth customer experience. We designed the survey in a way that wouldn’t disturb your users from what they’re doing. Your visitors can continue navigating through your site, and you still get the information that you need.

Qeryz as a survey tool gets more responses, too! And you can set in exactly which page you want Qeryz to pop-up.

This might seem a lot to take in, and with information like this, making a survey seems very daunting.

But you know what? When it comes to growth and development, every effort counts.

Sean Si is the CEO and Founder of SEO Hacker and Qeryz. A start-up, data analysis and urgency junkie who spends his time inspiring young entrepreneurs through talks and seminars. Check out his personal blog where he writes about starting up two companies and life in general.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *