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The long and short on the length of a website survey

Posted on 7/3/2014 by Elizabeth in category: survey software articles
There's a lot of time, thought, and attention to detail that goes into planning an effective, efficient survey that has a high participation and response rate. One of the most important and difficult factors to pin down for many people planning a survey website promotion is the length of the survey.

Online survey software gives you, as the survey administrator, many options for controlling the length of your surveys. It's best, though, if you devote a little extra time to the effort and keep these things in mind when creating surveys for your business needs.

Survey Length Considerations

Keep your surveys short, sweet, and to the point. Decide exactly what information you want to gain from this specific survey and ask questions that will help you get that outcome. Ask nothing more.

Why does the length matter so much?

People value their time. They're doing you a favor by participating in your survey. They're helping you get information you need to make your business, event, function, product, service, etc. better.

Respect that and it will help you retain loyal customers for the long haul. Take advantage of their participation by asking irrelevant, unnecessary, or lengthy questions and you risk losing a customer -- for good.

Short surveys enjoy higher participation rates and lower dropout rates. Both are good for your purposes. More importantly, though, is that long surveys could leave you with customers asking for removal from your mailing lists, which is certainly not the result you're looking for.

How Can You Make Your Surveys Practically Painless for Participants?

As mentioned above, the most important thing to do when creating surveys is to keep your participants in mind at all times. Keep the survey on target. Ask the questions you need answered. If you're at a loss, try these terrific tips too.

Conduct Pilot Tests. These tests help determine how much time the surveys take to complete. Consider testing different Q&A formats as well as different answer combinations to see if some have a tendency to "read" faster than others.

Consider countdown timers or a progress bar. This prepares participants for how long the survey will take and helps them see when they're almost finished. Fewer people will drop out on the next to last question if they know there's only one minute of the survey remaining.

Create Mobile Friendly Surveys. Not only are attention spans growing shorter thanks to the wide prevalence of the Internet on mobile devices, but people are taking things like surveys on the go. Make it as painless as possible by using your survey software to compose a mobile friendly survey format.

When conducting an online survey for yourwebsite, a survey tool makes it easier for your target audience to participate from home, work, or mobile devices. If you want answers, you need to make the entire process as simple as possible. This means keeping it short and making the survey website bound for easier portability across multiple platforms and devices.
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