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A definitive guide: How to conduct a survey online

Oct 31, 2022 9 min read
A definitive guide: How to conduct a survey online

Ebru Çelik

Learning about people's opinions and tendencies is something you'll want to know, no matter what business you're in. There are several ways to learn this information. The first and most important of these is to conduct a survey. Survey creators can get even more detailed answers from respondents by asking different types of survey questions. You can use survey research not only to use practical data to improve your business but also to build a closer bond with people.

You may have no idea how to do survey research. There are many details to consider when creating a survey. All of this makes it easier for you to gather better insights and draw better conclusions. In this blog post, you'll learn about the main types of polls, how to conduct online surveys, and what the best practices are.

What is an online survey?

Online surveys are a popular type of data collection method where you can get answers from anywhere and on any device. Regardless of the product or service you offer, you can ask appropriate questions to target audiences with an online questionnaire. 

The definition of online survey

The definition of online survey

Unlike paper polls, online ones are a more effortless information-gathering tool. By using various online survey sites, you can do your online survey research quickly and easily. In addition, online polls are a very useful method for you both in terms of cost and time.

Survey types

There are a number of questionnaire types. The purpose of each poll is different, and you should use the proper design and question types for your purpose. For example, open-ended questions are more useful for some goals, while multi-choice question types are more suitable for others. Some popular types of surveys and their usage purposes are as follows:

  • Political research: It is possible to see such polls, especially during election times. Before political parties nominate a candidate, they conduct polls to see the voting trends of the people. Additionally, they continue to conduct these political surveys to measure their vote percentage even after a candidate is elected.
  • Market research: Perhaps the most widely used type of survey is the market research survey. It will be more useful to use market research surveys if you are going to produce a product or service. It is one of the shortest ways to find out if there is a special interest or need for your product. Moreover, it is possible to obtain opinions about your competitors and their products.
  • Customer research: If you have a product, customer research is a type of poll that will help you grow your business. Gathering feedback from customers and making appropriate changes in line with this feedback will help you increase your sales. Moreover, you can find out why your customers prefer your products and how often they buy them.
  • Psychological research: Especially if you are a psychiatrist or psychologist, these types of questionnaires are for you. These questionnaires are used to understand the psychological disorders of people generally. This type of survey helps you easily assess people's strengths, weaknesses, and emotional attitudes towards issues. Moreover, psychological research is one of the easiest ways to learn about people's attitudes, behaviors, and thoughts.
  • Employee research: If you are a business owner, using such polls is an important factor for your business. You can also use these polls before or after hiring your employees. These surveys help you learn about the employee's general approach to problems and their character. These methods are also a good way to learn about their beliefs, wishes, and dreams about their own business life.
  • Demographic research: Another way you can learn more specific information about people is through demographic research. With these survey types, you can access detailed information about people's age, gender, income, and education status, in a short way.

How to conduct an online survey: 6 steps

Surveys for measuring and improving customer experience are the perfect way to build up your business. However, before creating an online poll, there are some elements that you should care about. First, the best way to conduct a survey is to draw a map in your head. Deciding what to do before creating a questionnaire is an important step. Here are 6 steps you should follow while conducting an online survey: 

1  - Decide the aim of the survey

2  - Prepare questions for it

3  - Determine the target audience

4  - Specify the required response

5  - Share it from various platforms

6  - Analyze responses

1  - Decide the aim of the survey

If you don't know how to conduct survey research, the first thing you should do is determine the purpose of your survey. It is an important detail whether this questionnaire is for political research, market research, or employee research. You should research what kind of benefits the data you will collect will provide to your business. Moreover, depending on the type of survey you choose, you also need to do some preliminary research because you need to know in advance what you will need.

2  - Prepare questions for the survey

As a second step, choosing questions suitable for the questionnaire type is one of the most important steps. One of the biggest reasons for this is that people need to solve the polls to the end for better results. You can prevent people from getting bored by using different types of questions. Additionally, this is a good tactic not to keep them distracted. Some of the question types you can use in your polls are as follows:

  • Single selection questions
  • Yes no questions
  • Multiple selection questions
  • Dropdown selection questions
  • Picture questions

Moreover, you should prepare the questions in such a way that they do not direct respondents. Even the slightest hint about your brand will not deliver any useful results from your survey. For this reason, preparing questions as impartially as possible will bring you the best results.

Prepare and add questions to your survey

Prepare and add questions to your survey

3  - Determine the target audience

Identifying your target audience is another step. It is important both for choosing your questions and for more beneficial results for your poll subject. Once you fully understand your target audience, you can use it to better market and develop your product or service. Therefore, you will have a more precise business strategy.

4  - Specify the required response

Another step is to determine the answers required for the survey. Nobody prepares them for small audiences because questionnaires are made to reach as many people as possible. Fewer respondents mean less successful surveys. The sample size depends on the type of your poll, and setting this number earlier will generate better results.

Make some questions required

Make some questions required

5  - Share the survey

Sharing your survey is another important step. Although the questions, the target audience, and the purpose of the questionnaire are necessary, it doesn't matter if you can't share your poll through the necessary channels. As said before, it is compulsory to get your survey to more people. For this reason, sharing them via social media platforms and email addresses will make your job easier.

Share or embed your survey

Share or embed your survey

6  - Analyze responses

Finally, you should analyze the answers to your polls. Those who prepare them always do these for a purpose, and that purpose is to obtain information. Preparing questions and sharing these polls are steps to gain information, but it is also necessary to use other analysis tools for more precise results. For example, you can get the necessary results from the statistics of an online survey maker tool and Google Analytics in order to use them in a way that suits your business.

Collect and analyze survey responses

Collect and analyze survey responses

Best practices when conducting online surveys

Doing a survey may seem a very challenging and complex process, but it is actually quite easy to prepare after following the necessary methods. Survey tools like forms.app may be pretty beneficial to create polls because forms.app has a lot of online survey templates. In addition, while preparing a questionnaire, you can attract the attention of respondents with more engaging content. Some of the best practices you should use are as follows:

  • Keep it short and simple: It is very important to keep the questions as short and simple as possible. The biggest reason for this is that people avoid answering long questions when they see them.
  • Test it before sharing: After you have prepared the questionnaire, you should check how it looks. If there's a problem, you'll have time to spot it and fix it beforehand.
  • Look at survey statistics to improve your surveys: you need to look at statistics and analysis to get better results. Making decisions in line with the results will also be healthier for your business.
  • Make them easy to access: It is very important that you put your surveys where everyone can reach them. Social media accounts or websites are very suitable for this. In addition, being mobile-friendly will increase accessibility.
  • Determine the purpose: As a result of the survey, you should first determine what kind of purpose you aim for. It will be better for you to make preparations for this goal.
  • Avoid leading questions: Do not try to manipulate respondents. You must respect their ideas and tendencies.
  • Take advantage of themes and colors: You should not hesitate to use eye-catching themes and colors. This way, it will be easier for you to attract attention.
  • Make it interesting: Feel free to use different question types. It will be more appreciated if you add videos or pictures to your questions.
  • Do not leave respondents in a dilemma: You should avoid using definite adjectives such as "always" and "never." Otherwise, they can stay in between.
  • Use plain language: Using plain and simple language should be your priority. In order to get a correct result, people must also understand the questions and give correct answers.

Free survey templates for a quick start

In summary, polls are a tool that can be used in every field and provide useful information. In particular, online surveys are highly accessible as they can be shared on social media platforms and embedded in websites. For this reason, you reach more people and increase response rates. Moreover, there are various types of questionnaires, and there are some steps you need to take care of in accordance with these types.

It will be convenient for you to use online survey builder tools to get the best results from your polls. One of the tools with which you can quickly create surveys is forms.app. With forms.app, you can create questionnaires on various topics using ready-made survey templates. If you want to create engaging forms in a short time, thanks to ready-made templates, sign up forms.app without wasting time and start using it!

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