Pros and Cons of Website Surveys

Surveys have been around since the early 1400 B.C. It was widely used by the Egyptians to accurately divide the land into plots for taxation. It also helped revolutionize the industry through the construction of public infrastructure (i.e. railroads, canals, highways).

Since then, a survey has widely developed with different forms and methods. It has been used to map out the earth, create navigational maps, establish boundaries in land and sea, and develop engineering data for buildings, roads, bridges, etc. Aside from its geodetic and geographic purposes, it has also been used for research and analysis in the scientific field. You may also see Research Agenda Examples & Samples.

In the online generation, a new method of surveying has been developed. Online or website surveys have become prominent and has slowly eradicated paper surveys. In this article, you will learn about website surveys, its pros and cons, and how to conduct it.

What is a Website Survey?

A website survey is a survey that is run on a website. It is a systematic gathering of data and is completed by respondents online. Its corporate goal is to gain automatic feedback examples from its target respondents.

Your respondents’ privacy can also be protected in a website survey because they have the option to remain anonymous. It is an efficient way of finding out what your customers need in order to feel comfortable before, during and after using your website.

Like a traditional or paper survey, a website survey has two purposes: to provide data about the customers and to create a survey about a specific product or service in order to understand how customers react to it.

Targeting Website Surveys

1. Target Visitors by Visit Length/Number

A website survey is sent to a respondent who spends a certain amount of time visiting a website. The criteria for choosing the respondents are different for each website and depend on the individuals/company conducting the survey. But one thing is constant though, companies mostly choose respondents depending on how often these respondents visit or how long these respondents browse in their respective websites.

2. Target by Page

Individuals who arrive or stumble upon the site in a specific way are given a website survey. For example, those who end up in through a related website might get a notification to complete a website survey. It makes it easy to collect client feedback in this way since it has to be administered after coming from a specific site.

3. Target by Activity

The website survey is only targeted to visitors who make a specific action. For example, those who attempt to navigate away from the site are likely to be given a survey.

Why Use a Website Survey?

1. To Optimize Your Website

Website surveys give you the automatic feedback that you need in order to improve your website’s conversion rates. For example, if your users express confusion about the membership payment on your site, you can test if placing a single payment method makes the membership population higher.

2. To Improve Marketing

In order to identify the feature and benefits to your customers, you must understand their intent and what they hope to accomplish by visiting your website. This will help you in your marketing strategies both online and offline. If you are able to determine, for example, where your customers first heard about your site, you can focus on investing your marketing efforts in the said medium. If done successfully, it can improve your return on marketing expenditure. You may also refer to  Social Marketing Examples.

3. To Improve Product

As you can efficiently gather your data through a website survey, your customer’s feedback can undoubtedly help in your product development. As they can easily answer your survey before or after they purchase from your website, there is also automatic feedback that you can use to your advantage. This is also applicable to those who are still considering purchasing from your site– do they really want the product? is it at the right price? is the shipping fee too expensive? and other similar questions.

4. To Unlock Growth

All of the above-mentioned reasons and the information you have gathered, when used properly, can help improve the growth rate of your business. Through the survey, you can identify the needs, wants and intents of your website’s visitors. Thus, you can also alter and tailor your product offers in order to attract more prospective visitors and customers.

Pros and Cons of Website Surveys


  1. Faster – Response time is almost instant since you no longer have to wait for the questionnaire to come back to you like in a traditional survey. Online marketing experts say that more than half of the needed responses are received within three days of a research project.
  2. Cheaper – Since a printed questionnaire is no longer required, you don’t have to spend a dime in mass printing. You also don’t need to spend resources on people going from one place to another to conduct your survey. Responses are processed instantly and are accessible at any time.
  3. More accurate – Since respondents enter their responses directly into the system, the margin of error is greatly reduced. In this method of survey, you will not rely on the attentiveness of human staff in order for you to acquire accurate data.
  4. Quick to analyze – Responses are easily gathered and so results are ready to be analyzed at any time. It is instant and automatic thus, enabling you to act quickly regarding the gathered data. For example, if the task is to create emergency plans and strategies. You can also easily export and share the data with anyone for further analysis regarding the said topic.
  5. Easy to use – Majority of the respondents already have knowledge on how to use the Web, so it is easier for them to handle surveys like this. It is also convenient for the respondents since they can answer surveys during the time they are most comfortable in. They can also easily skip questions that they feel are no longer relevant to the subject.
  6. Easily accessible – The main benefit of this survey is that data is instantly available. It saves researchers time and increases productivity. Data can also be easily transferred to specialized software or spreadsheets for more analysis if needed.
  7. Easy to style – This can be a direct representation of your brand. A website survey can easily be customized with your modern logo, desired background, images, font, etc. This can help respondents easily remember your site and your brand.
  8. More honesty – By conducting relevant and targeted surveys, respondents are most likely to give you honest answers. According to market researchers, participants prefer website or online surveys more than traditional and telephone surveys. This can be because respondents are not pressured to give specific answers due to the absence of actual interviewer.
  9. More selective – Since you have already specified your target respondents, it is much easier to pre-screen the respondents. In the above-mentioned target of a website survey, those you only fit those criteria are the only ones allowed to participate in the survey.
  10. More flexible – A website survey can be tailored to each participant as he/she undergoes the survey. Since the orders of questions can be changed or skipped automatically depending on the previous answer, it is more flexible and analyzes the answers instantly.


  1. There is an absence of interviewer – Open-ended questions are not suitable for a website survey since there is no trained interviewer to interpret the respondents’ answers.
  2. Inability to reach challenging population – No matter how beneficial, it is still subject to some lapses. Since there is a need for an internet connection in order to participate in the survey, members of the population who do not have access are not surveyed. They can be your prospective customers, however, you cannot reach and hear their needs because of the exclusivity issue of a website or online survey.
  3. Prone to survey fraud – There are people who answer surveys for the sake of incentive, this can be the most disadvantageous aspect of a website interview. These people do not gravitate towards the goal of the surveys, thus, tainting the credibility of the answers. Survey fraud is awfully common nowadays since people are easily motivated to answer surveys in return for some incentive usually in the form of money.

Website surveys provide efficiency and efficacy in gathering relevant data in order to improve your website traffic. The list of questions you can ask your respondents are endless, however, you need to ask questions that can greatly influence the improvement of your site. When website surveys are integrated as a constant part of website improvement, it can result in long-lasting boost that contributes to the growth of the company.

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