But when you get more serious about surveying your users, you start to observe differences between website survey tools. For example, they offer different targeting options and integrations. Those features are often not important at first but become crucial when you get more familiar with the tool and want to take full advantage of it.
Switching to another tool is always a headache, especially when you have lots of data, surveys, and use sophisticated targeting options that are difficult to copy. To avoid this problem, make sure you choose the right website survey tool from the start. This short guide will show you what to look for while choosing a website survey tool. After reading it, you’ll able to filter out all marketing mumbo-jumbo on websites of providers and choose the most suitable tool that offers what you need.
What features to look for in a website survey tool
Let’s start with a list of features that are important for you or another person who will be using the website survey tool. They ensure that you can configure the tool to meet your needs and make the most of it:
- Skip logic
Skip logic is a must-have feature of website survey tools. It allows you to show different questions based on answers to previous questions (that’s why it is sometimes called question branching or survey logic). While it’s one of the basic functions of website survey tools, still some vendors don’t offer it. Learn more here about skip logic
- Multiple question types
Some website survey tools limit you to asking only multiple-choice and open-ended questions. But there are also other useful types of questions, including scale questions, NPS, smiley scale, checkboxes, and forms (useful for collecting emails and lead generation).
Hint: look for tools that offer Calls to Action to engage visitors and guide them to desired actions or tailored content.
- Advanced targeting options
Website surveys provide the best results when they give you the possibility to precisely choose who and when sees surveys. That allows you to adjust the message to the context so the user experience is better and response rates higher. Useful targeting options:
– based on traffic sources (direct, UTMs, referrals, search traffic, etc.),
– behavior on the website (browsed pages, time spent on the page, % of a scroll, new v returning visitors, etc.)
– characteristics of users (geography, languages, devices, cookies)
Important note: if you want to use a website survey tool on a Single Page App, look closely at targeting options of tools you are considering. Support of SPA is still not a standard.
- Library of survey templates
Why to waste time creating all surveys from scratch when you can choose a website survey tool that offers a library of pre-defined templates? Adding a survey from a library requires just a few clicks so you save time and effort (a good library comes with pre-defined settings as well).
Checking the results of your surveys can be time-consuming and is likely to discourage you from doing so. But that’s the key to a successful survey, without analyzing all answers mean nothing. So choose a tool that offers reports with a summary of results delivered to email to give you a glimpse of what users are saying and what are the biggest trends.
Useful feature: choice how often you want to receive reports.
- Integrations with tools you already use
Website survey tools themselves provide you with useful and valuable feedback that you can use to improve your website or services. But they can provide even more value if you integrate them with CRM or marketing automation software. The website survey tool can streamline new leads and enrich their profiles with collected data. Look for direct integrations, they usually provide more options and are easier to set up than integrations through third-party apps like Zapier.
Tip: if you’re a data geek, you might be interested in a Google Analytics integration to analyze results of surveys there and build custom segments of users. You can later use them to create personalized retargeting campaigns. If you use surveys to find more about your customers or leads then integrations with tools like Intercom, HubSpot or ActiveCampaign should be interesting for you.
- Exit intent surveys
Collecting feedback from visitors who are about to leave the website can be a great source of insights so make sure the tool you choose offers exit-intent surveys.
- Responsive support and knowledge base materials
Like with all other SaaS tools, you sometimes might need some help to get started or set up a new feature of your website survey tool. My recommendation: choose a tool that offers support via chat (the fastest way to get answers to questions). What is also important is the quality of support materials so that you can find answers on your own if you don’t like talking to support
- Export of data to a preferred format
You have two options for analyzing data gathered with your website survey tool – either within its dashboard or in spreadsheets after downloading the data. For most of the purposes, analytical dashboards will work fine, but if you want to perform the advanced analysis you will need to do it in a program like Excel. Download in .csv format is a standard, .xls is less popular but easier to work with if you’re not a spreadsheet maestro)
- User and domain management
Sometimes you might want to add another user to a domain or a new domain to an existing account (agencies, raise your hands). Make sure the tool you choose offers such possibilities to avoid sharing one access within a team or creating multiple accounts to manage a few domains.
Also, take into account elements that affect the experience of your website visitors who will be answering the surveys. Long story short: users don’t like interacting with any elements on the website if they don’t look good or are not trustworthy. Thus look for the following options:
- the responsive design of survey widgets so that they look good on all devices
- modern design of survey popups
- the possibility of customizing widgets to match the design of your website, including adding graphics to widgets and removing provider’s branding.Tip for more advanced users: look for the possibility of adding custom CSS of survey widgets to make them look exactly as you want to.
- the ability to show surveys in languages that your visitors speak (mentioned geographical or browser language targeting will make it possible)
That said, keep in mind that the main factor contributing to your visitors’ satisfaction and willingness to participate in a survey, is setting targeting well and utilization of advanced options. If you want to learn more about taking full advantage of targeting, take a look at those guides: https://survicate.com/knowledge-base/survey-audience-targeting/.
What else to look for
Now you know what features of website survey tools to look for. What else is important to make the right choice?
- Value for money
Check what exactly is included in the plan you’re interested in. Usually, the main factor distinguishing plans is the amount of answer you can collect in a month but it can be also a monthly traffic limit. Also, the plans often offer access to different features.
Take a closer look at billing periods – some tools offer only quarterly or annual billing while others allow you to pay monthly. If you’re not sure how long you will be needing the tool, better choose monthly billing.
- Reviews of users
Don’t forget to read reviews of website survey tools on platforms like G2Crowd – a few words from an actual user can help you make the right decision better than reading all the marketing descriptions on a website of the software provider.
What you can also take into account is the scalability of infrastructure (matters, especially for websites with millions of monthly visits, not all vendors, can handle it) and security (SSL certificates and daily backups of databases are a must-have).
Let’s briefly roll up the most important points of this article.
Crucial features of website survey tools you should look for are: skip logic, multiple question types, integrations with tools you already use, and targeting options that will allow you precisely choose who and when sees surveys, including URLs, time delay, exit intent, and cookie-based targeting. Also, make sure that survey widgets are responsive and you can customize them to match the design of your website.
When you shortlist available tools to match those criteria, take a look at reviews of customers to choose a reliable tool that won’t ruin your budget with a big upfront payment.
This process will ensure you choose the right tool for your needs and won’t need to look for a more suitable one when you dive into more advanced settings. But still, there is nothing more valuable than trying 2-3 tools on free trials or free packages to see how they work to check features and the quality of support for yourself.