We’ve previously covered why and when you should collect feedback about users’ experience on your website. What is a successful website feedback survey? It’s simple, really. A successful survey produces the data needed to answer the research question you raised when setting up the survey.

This data should qualify the actions and changes required to accommodate the survey’s conclusion. To produce the desired data, you need satisfactory responses, both in terms of amount and quality.

When you’ve decided why you need a feedback survey on your website and are ready to set it up, here are some general guidelines to follow:

A successful website feedback survey…

1. …is targeted and well-defined

Since you’ve already established why you need feedback on your website, make sure to keep the survey focused when creating it and setting it up. This includes keeping the survey question(s) clear and aligned with the overall purpose of the survey. It also includes giving some thought to where the survey should appear.

If the purpose is to see what visitors think about materials on a new section of your website – then the survey should be limited to this section.

2. …allows for both quantitative and qualitative responses

Website feedback is often called the qualitative supplement to your analytics data, but this doesn’t mean that your feedback survey can’t have a quantitative element as well. For example, you could ask: “On a scale from 1 to 5, was it easy to find the information or service you needed on the home page, with 1 being ‘Not at all easy’ and 5 being ‘Very easy’?” And this question could be accompanied by the possibility to leave additional comments.

By combining your qualitative results with quantitative results, you'll get better insight overall. You can use the qualitative data to clarify unexplained or surprising results from your quantitative data, while the quantitative data will give you a broad overview on how visitors feel about your website or individual web pages.

3. …lets stakeholders act upon responses and collaborate

You don’t have to wait until the end of your designated survey period to act upon responses coming in. If you’re running a general website feedback survey meant for gathering ideas on how to incrementally improve your website, it is important to be available to manage this feedback continuously.

Every survey response is potentially an action item that needs to be handled. As survey manager you can forward actionable survey responses by email to the person best suited for following up.

4. …provides information about respondents

Setting up a survey can also give you an opportunity to learn more about the experience visitors are having on your website. If web visitors are leaving comments about things not working or how content appears on their screen, it would be beneficial to know what type of device, the screen resolution, and what browser they are using.

For example, if someone using a mobile device leaves a comment on your survey that your form wasn’t working on a specific page, you can investigate why it might not be working for them. Without the device type information, you might find the form is working for you and your team members on a desktop or laptop without realizing it isn’t optimized for mobile devices.

5. …has a purposeful design

A good website feedback survey builder allows you to customize the design of the survey. With this functionality, the visual aspect can be intentional for the content and placement of the survey. For example, if the survey is meant to gather general website feedback and will be live for a long time, it makes sense to use a design that aligns with the website.

To make the survey blend in, you could choose a more ambient format, like a small banner by the side of the page that needs to be clicked to appear. This way you are more likely to get feedback responses from people actively looking to do it.

If the survey is more seasonal or campaign-specific, you can try a format that more actively asks for responses by making the survey module more prominent in distinctive colours with captivating text.

And there you have it! If you use these five characteristics as a basis for your feedback survey, you should have success getting responses and using the responses to improve your site. Want to learn more about your web visitors? Get started with web analytics by downloading our e-book "Web Analytics: Where to Begin."

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