Preparing Questions for Your Online Survey? Here Is What You Need To Know!

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Photo Credit:'s vladwel

Preparing surveys is not easy. It’s requires some communication sense, language expertise, and understanding of the subject for which you require data in the first place. There has to be a reason, a need, for which you must have a few questions in mind. If you would like honest, unambiguous, answers from your clients then the best option you could have is to try a free online survey.

Firstly, you need to decide your objectives of the survey. Make sure you can word those in the form of questions. If you can’t, try some other means to obtain data such as focus groups or other qualitative methods. Online surveys are ideal for quantitative data collection.

Secondly, you need to phrase out your questions to procure exact answers from your customers. Good questions acquire good answers. Survey takers are less likely to give confusing information if they understand the question well.

If you have decided to conduct an online survey, follow these tips and suggestions to create a perfect questionnaire.

1. Objectives of the Study

What exactly do you need to know? Who is your targeted audience? How are you going to utilize the data? Are any other options available to acquire the required information? These questions will help you identify and analyze the objectives of the study. Online surveys are best for collecting data and your method should be in accordance with the objectives.

2. Visualize the Outcome

Once you are sure of the objectives, it shouldn’t be too hard to foresee the expected outcome. Try to visualize how the result would look, what relevant information items will it contain, what graphical representation would be achieved through this. this simple exercise will provide direction to your survey right from the beginning.

3. Level of Difficulty

You need to assess the level of difficulty your audience is going to face while attempting the survey. Survey questions need to be formed in a clear-cut and concise way so people can easily understand them. If your wording is ambiguous or the language too hard, it will dramatically affect your drop-out rate. However, if the subject requires use of technical jargons, do not hesitate in using them. They will help filter the irrelevant responses from the relevant ones.

4. Types of Questions

Depending on the type of survey or its required data, you should use an appropriate question type to avoid a wrong impression. Various survey websites provide ready-made templates for use as well as 24 hours customer service to dispel any confusion of the surveyors. SurveyCrest website is one of the premium free online survey softwares that offer an unbeatable package to its customers. There is no limit on the number of surveys attempted or the number of questions as well as responses per survey.

From short text question type to Net Promoter Score, from drop-down lists to Matrix (single or multiple options), there are many types to choose from. Keep the overall feel of the survey harmonized but use question types apropos to your targeted result.

5. Writing the Questions

Write as many questions from various perspectives and select the best ones that can secure the most accurate answers for you. If your subject is divided into different topics, you are, perhaps, better off dividing the survey into different sections. Please refrain from using uncommon literary phrases, irrelevant jargons, and gaudy diction in your surveys. Use simple and concise sentences in each question.

6. Sequence the Questions

Sequence the question in such a way that answering one would not make the survey-taker biased towards other questions. Sometimes giving away too much information or purpose of study may also affect the responses of your audience.

7. Time Your Survey

This step is crucial for all surveys. A good survey normally takes less than five minutes, so at the rate of three to four question per minute, fifteen questions are good enough. One long text question equals three multiple choice questions. Most online softwares record the time each respondent takes in answering the questions, but if yours doesn’t, you can still do that by observing the pretest stage (see #9).

8. Revise Your Survey

Once you are done fine tuning the language, meaning, and timing of the survey; it’s time to tie up the loose ends. Make sure all sections and their questions are in order and that the finished product looks exactly how you planned it to look like.

9. Pretest the Survey

Send this draft as a sample to at least 15-20 people and get their feedback on it. Ask them how convenient it was to understand the question? Was there too much information? What questions were they unsure about? Also ask them if they have any questions for the company in return. Revise again.

10. Send Away

Send the survey to your targeted audience. Relax. You did your homework.

Free online surveys are a great way to collect data for your company. They are inexpensive alternatives to paper and telephone surveys. Now that the world is turning to spending more time online, be it from their PCs or cell phones, web surveys are accessible and fun, and reach more people in less time. Only if you create the perfect questionnaire, you can receive the most accurate information from your respondents.

About The Author

Kelvin Stiles is a tech enthusiast and works as a marketing consultant at SurveyCrest – FREE online survey software and publishing tools for academic and business use. He is also an avid blogger and a comic book fanatic.