Tips for online surveys to help you create effective questionnaires

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If you’re looking for tips on surveys and creating more effective questionnaires, you’ve come to the right place. Online surveys are one of the most widely used data collection methods in market research today due to their numerous benefits compared to more traditional systems, such as face-to-face or telephone surveys. The customization, flexibility, and reach offered by the internet are almost limitless, making it one of the methodologies with the broadest reach and followers.

Creating quality online surveys is simple, and to help you create confident and secure surveys, we have compiled a set of tips for online surveys that will assist you in creating your surveys.

Creating High-Quality Online Surveys

However, before we get started designing and crafting the questionnaire for our online survey, three basic aspects are essential to ensure that we create a high-quality online survey:

  • Having clear information objectives. This is the essential and preliminary step before the questionnaire creation process: knowing what information I need and want to obtain and, based on that, developing the most suitable questionnaire to achieve those objectives.
  • Using the right software. The technological tool used is vital for creating your questionnaire. At We are testers, we have an advanced research platform for creating online market studies. It allows you to develop any type of question and logic so you can maximize your survey’s potential, as well as complete customization with your brand’s look and feel.
  • Importance of sample design. It is essential to define who the respondents are and have a representative sample for the study. With our Consumer Panel, you can obtain this necessary representative and micro-segmented sample for your study.

Tips for Effective Surveys and Questionnaires

Based on these three basic concepts and drawing on our experience in the industry, we have prepared a guide with 7 survey tips for creating effective questionnaires.

  1. Build Trust

Trust is crucial in an online survey. Since there is no direct or personal interaction between the respondent and the interviewer, you must work hard on this aspect to obtain high response rates and quality information. Therefore, the survey should be hosted on a platform that provides trust to the respondent in various aspects, such as absolute data privacy; a consistent and coherent questionnaire display (fonts, colors, branding, images…); avoiding irrelevant questions for the study; using an appropriate tone of language and impeccable spelling…

  1. Harness the Potential of the Online Channel…

The second of our survey tips is to let your imagination run wild. Do not limit yourself to transcribing a question-answer survey with an interrogation appearance. Harness the potential of the online channel to promote interaction with users. You can ask for their opinion on a carousel of images, assess their perception of a video ad, or request them to perform a small task and visit a website that you can embed in the survey for evaluating specific aspects.

Moreover, due to the inherent nature of the digital channel and the reach capacity of online surveys, you can obtain responses and insights almost in real-time. Therefore, take advantage of this resource of immediacy when you need the opinion of your consumer, customer, or employee almost instantly.

  1. …And Also Consider the Peculiarities of the Digital Channel

Remember that this is not an activity guided by an interviewer, but the recipient of the survey manages the interaction and responses themselves. Therefore, our advice in this regard is not to overuse very long questions that require a lot of scrolling, as users may lose track or find it uncomfortable to read. To assist them in this task, use clear language, eliminate superfluous text, and you can highlight the keywords or critical words in the question to enhance comprehension.

Another aspect to consider is that not all devices behave the same in terms of display (different browsers on the computer, mobile devices…), so the survey platform must have these versions controlled and reviewed to ensure everything functions correctly.

  1. Organize the Structure and Group Related Content

One of the goals your questionnaire should pursue is to foster a natural conversation and obtain the highest-quality information possible. Therefore, it’s essential that, with your information objectives in mind, you order the fields logically and coherently. For example, if you want to ask a characterization question to gather more information about the profile, always do it at the beginning of the questionnaire, not in the middle of a task on a specific topic.

Likewise, to maintain a clear structure, think about the content blocks you want to ask about and group them into different tasks. This will help the respondent mentally situate themselves when responding, as well as in the subsequent analysis by the researcher.

  1. Introduce Logic to Avoid Inconsistencies, Errors…

A specialized online survey platform like We are testers offers multiple advanced options to prevent errors or inconsistencies in responses and improve interaction with the questionnaire. Therefore, choose the question type for each information objective (scale, attribute sorting, single choice, point allocation, image selection…), question skips or filters based on previously given responses, random display of responses or question blocks to avoid biases resulting from the order they are shown…

  1. Find the Most Suitable Incentive, but Don’t Influence

In many surveys, incentives are part of the motivation for participation. Methodologically, this incentive should not bias or influence responses, and as researchers or interviewers, we should be clear about the user’s primary motivation for responding. With this information, it will be one of the compelling arguments we should use in the invitation communication to participate and thus encourage the response rate. These motivations can be very diverse, such as direct financial incentives, participation in a prize draw, or wanting to provide feedback to improve a service or process.

Furthermore, it’s essential to consider that the effort and time spent by the respondent should be directly proportional to the incentive received. Completing a 4-minute survey is not the same as completing a 15-minute one, or a questionnaire full of open-ended or matrix questions, so the compensation should also account for the time invested.

An important aspect not to be forgotten is to reward all those who have participated but do not meet the requested profile. The remuneration should not be equal to that of the person who completes the survey, but it should be an incentive that appreciates their participation, effort, and involvement.

  1. Put Yourself in the Respondent’s Shoes

The last of our survey tips is to consider that the questionnaire will be read and answered by people with different personalities, levels of understanding, ages… Therefore, it’s important that it can be understood by everyone, and once completed, review the questionnaire’s preview. It’s crucial to put yourself in the shoes of the recipient and perform it as many times as necessary to correct any overlooked details or potential misunderstandings. Our recommendation in this regard? Have someone else review it, someone different from the person who created and programmed the questionnaire, to minimize errors.

Are you going to implement these survey and questionnaire tips, or perhaps you need guidance in creating your next questionnaire? Contact us through our form; we’ll be delighted to guide you and introduce you to tools like WAT Survey, our advanced survey platform.

Update date 22 December, 2023

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