One of my favourite ways of collecting data is by using surveys. They are often placed on websites to learn and gain more insights into their visitors. It’s easy to place such a survey on your website, using tools like Hotjar, Getsitecontrol and many more. The hardest part is what questions to ask to get the most valuable answers (data) from your visitors.

Make sure you’re using short survey questions, visitors are more likely to answer them which means more data in a shorter amount of time. That’s why it’s so important to ask the right questions.

Table of contents

  1. Survey questions on the entry of the website
    1. Adding extra question for segmentation
  2. Visitors leaving your website (On exit survey questions)
  3. Survey questions for on the detail page
    1. Why are they buying your product/service?
    2. Why aren’t visitors becoming customers?
  4. Survey questions on pages with interaction
  5. Survey questions between the form and thank you page
    1. Survey questions after check-out
  6. Final words

Survey on the entry of the website

There are multiple moments during the customer journey of the visitors on your website. On entry is one of the best moments to get honest feedback with the least chance of being biased.

On entry you could ask your visitors either ‘What is your purpose of visiting our website today?’ or ‘What are you doing on our website today?’. The big advantage you have is that the visitors aren’t influenced by the website, since the visitor hasn’t seen it yet. This way you’ll get the most honest answers you can get.

Keep in mind you only show this survey when a visitors lands on your website and you only show it once. You don’t want the same visitors to answer the survey multiple times. This will make your data inaccurate and can have a big impact on the decisions you’re making.

Adding an extra question for segmentation

You can add an extra question like ‘You visit this website if …’ the answers to this question can be multiple-choice containing different target audiences or a question like ‘Are you already a customer’ which can be answered with yes or no. The advance you’ll have by adding one of these questions is that you can segment the results. You can see if there is any difference between groups of visitors or returning vs new customers.

Visitors leaving your website (on exit survey questions)

For some reason, someone is leaving your website and you would like to know why. You can create pop-ups that will appear when a visitor is about to close the browser tab, this is what we call ‘on exit’. It’s remarkable how often visitors will answer the questions in the pop-up. Definitely give it a shot.

The first questions you could ask on exit could be ‘Did you find what you were looking for?’ if the answer is no, ask for details. Other survey questions instead or in combination with the first could be ‘Did you find all the information you were looking for?’ or ‘Do you have any questions after browsing the website?’. All the questions you ask here should be yes/no questions. If they answer no always ask for details since this indicates that there is a pain point.

Survey questions for on the detail page

The detail or product page is where decisions are being made, you either found the information you were looking or you decide to buy the product … or not. It’s rewarding to investigate this area of your website using a survey.

Here are three questions you could ask with this survey ‘Can you find all the information you need?’, ‘Provides this page with everything you need to purchase this product or service?’ and, ‘Do you have any questions that are not answered on this page?’. Like with the other questions, ask for details to get more knowledge since these are mostly yes or no questions. The answers to these questions will learn you what is missing on these pages and what visitors are expecting.

This pop-up/survey could pop in the screen after X seconds, or when somebody is about to go to a new page.

Why are they buying your product/service?

The second thing you would like to know is why are visitors buying your product or service and not one from your competitors. These questions can help you gain these insights, ‘What is the main reason you want to buy this product or service?’, ‘What is the main motivation to buy or use the product or service?’ and, ‘Why do you consider buying this product or service from us?’. These should be open questions and remember to only ask one of them.

Why aren’t visitors becoming customers?

The last thing we would like to know on this page is why visitors aren’t becoming customers. What is holding them back to buy or take any action? Typical questions that can be asked here are ‘What is holding you back from buying this product or service?’, ‘What is holding you back from adding them to your shopping cart?’, ‘What is holding you back from becoming a customer?’ and, ‘What is your biggest fear of buying a product or service from us?’.

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Survey questions on pages with interaction

Let’s ask some questions at pages where there is interaction, this could be a quotation form, check-out, or shopping cart page. On the cart page and during the check-out survey questions like ‘What is stopping you from requesting a quote today?’ or ‘What is stopping you to complete your purchase today?’ work very well. If you’re a SaaS (Software as a Service) website some other questions might be more relevant like ‘What is holding you back to buy a premium version’? or ‘What is holding you back for upgrading to this service?’.

Survey questions between the form and thank you page

All these survey questions are about the same thing, why or why not would a visitor become a customer. That’s why it’s a good idea to add a survey between a form and a thank you page. For example, this could be after a visitor bought something, requested a quote, or just after someone subscribed to the newsletter. At this point, the visitor is committed to you and more willing to answer your questions.

Questions you could ask after a visitor made a purchase are ‘What convinced you the most to buy this product or service?’ or ‘What convinced you to buy this product or service from us?’. Alternative questions could be ‘What alternatives have you also looked at? Why didn’t you buy them?’, ‘Was there anything that made you doubt? If so, why?’ and, ‘Was there anything that almost stopped you from buying this product or service from us?’.

But there is more! I’ve got some bonus questions, but the ones above are often better suited, ‘What was your biggest frustration when visiting this website?’, ‘Which questions could you not find an answer to on our website?’ and, ‘What could we have done to make your decision easier?’. The last three questions mentioned in this paragraph are questions people really have to think about and how more they need to think about it how less likely it is they will give a good answer to the question.

Survey questions after check-out

‘What is the most important reason you’ve purchased product or service from us?’, ‘What is the most important motivation/reason for buying this product or service?’, ‘What do you hope to receive from our product or service?’ and, ‘How do you think our product or service will improve your life?’. Again, these are questions that require more thinking.

Final words

STOP! Don’t start installing all these pop-ups/surveys straight away. Consider which information you would like to have first. Showing too many pop-ups/surveys will lead to inaccurate results and even more importantly: it’s bad UX. It could also distract visitors from their goals and decrease conversions (which is bad for business). Look for a balance and create a roadmap when you want to collect certain information.

Summary:

  • Don’t do too many surveys at the same time
  • Ask a maximum of three questions (preferably one or two)
  • You can do multiple surveys on the same page, but don’t do them at the same time
  • Keep the surveys short and to the point

This blog post was inspired by Karl Gilis from AGConsult.