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How to draw up a questionnaire?

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Good afternoon, dear friends! Every day I come across the understanding that a popular blogger is a specialist in different areas of content creation. He has to write articles correctly on his blog, and hold all kinds of contests, and do various reviews, and even engage in opinion polls. I came across the last phenomenon of blogging life last year, but only now I realized how to draw up a questionnaire correctly. I decided to share my observations and accumulated experience with you!

Content

Having seriously rummaged in the sea of ​​specialized sources for creating surveys, I decided to publish my knowledge in the form of a serious manual. But its volume with each new block of information began to pull on a full-fledged brochure. Therefore, I decided to divide it into the following three articles:

  • in the first I will explain the concept of a survey, and also explain its significance in Internet marketing and blogging. You will learn how it is done, what questions can be in it, I will explain in detail the essence of the questionnaire, I will show my procedure for conducting a questionnaire survey.
  • in the second post I will show various ways to create a questionnaire on my site. To implement this task, I will use step-by-step instructions with original pictures.
  • in the third article, you will see my way of creating a questionnaire using a special script from LimeSurvey. I will describe in detail how to implement the knowledge of the first article in various surveys on my resource.

What is a social survey?

In simple terms, a social survey is a communication option in which specific information is collected. Here, the creator of a public opinion poll (interviewer) asks questions to his opponent (respondent), and then processes them to perform any tasks.

Speaking in scientific language, the survey method is a psychological way of communicative interaction between the interviewer and the respondent, which allows you to get answers to the questions posed. In other words, it can be said that conducting a survey is a kind of research that allows you to find out the needs of respondents. The following two polling methods are often used mainly - laddering and questioning.

Ladder Method (Laddering)

This type of social survey is actively used in various marketing research. Thanks to him, a causal relationship between the properties of a product (service, brand), the benefits of use and the values ​​of consumers is easily revealed.

The implementation of this method is as follows - the respondent is asked questions about the various properties of the product (service, brand), consumption options, etc. Usually there is such a conversation scheme - the interviewer asks “why ...?”, The opponent of the survey gives a concrete answer. Depending on the answer, the following questions go, the opponent answers them. Roughly speaking, this is such a conversation in which questions are often formed according to the answers of the respondents.

What is a survey

This research method uses a specially designed questionnaire with pre-prepared questions. In another way, it is called a questionnaire. The questionnaire survey does not require live communication with the respondent - the questionnaire can be answered remotely.

Therefore, this method of conducting a public opinion poll has a number of positive aspects:

  • a questionnaire using pre-prepared questionnaires can be conducted with a large number of respondents (mass study),
  • questioning can be carried out anonymously, without requiring the respondent to provide his details (allows you to reach all segments of the population as much as possible).

Questioning questionnaire is significant:

  • Without full live feedback, a large percentage of questionnaires are received without an answer.

How the survey differs from the questionnaire

In the first case, the interviewer can get complete answers for the study thanks to his clarifying questions. The respondent actively engages in communication, the interviewer monitors the conversation and, if necessary, carefully changes the direction of his questions. The main thing here is to ask the first questions on the topic, and then concrete suggestions will go already according to the respondent's answers.

When questioning such a full contact can not be. Therefore, the interviewer has to think in advance of the whole range of possible questions (and, accordingly, answers) that will allow him to obtain maximum results for the study. Therefore, it is very important that the initial preparation is the creation of a questionnaire.

Using Surveys in Internet Marketing

Social surveys have always accompanied those areas of human activity where there are goods and services. Therefore, it is not surprising that in Internet marketing this tool for obtaining answers is widely used in various fields. Here is an example of some:

  • consumer market research (checking the popularity of a trend, evaluating purchasing power, etc.),
  • assessment of the success of a particular product or service (satisfaction with a particular product, customer survey, etc.),
  • study of human resources (assessment of working personnel, analysis of employee motivation, etc.),

Most often, the second survey method is used - questionnaires. Typically, profiles are filled out either before receiving the goods (services), or after purchase.

Laddering is also used for various marketing research. But in this case, a full customer feedback is required (often used as an online consultation).

Using Surveys in Blogging

The blogosphere mainly uses questionnaires - it is very difficult to conduct live communication on blogs. It is easier for a blogger to conduct his research by sending out a questionnaire to his subscribers. Of course, not every respondent will answer the questionnaire. But such a survey option requires an order of magnitude lower costs than conducting research using laddering.

What topics do bloggers most often do their polls on? In my opinion, the most popular studies are the following topics of blogging life:

  • assessment of the activities of a blogger, research on his ability to deliver full content to readers,
  • study the functionality of your blog, identify design errors, receive recommendations,
  • testing of their information products, research of their consumer value for their customers,

Questioning is carried out in various ways, which I will discuss in more detail in the following articles of this topic. You can see an example of one such questionnaire in the last part of this post.

In the future, all the information on creating a survey on your site will be based on the second method, a survey.

Rules for compiling a survey questionnaire

  1. Formation of research tasks. Before you create a questionnaire, you need to consider the objectives of the survey. For this, it is necessary to draw up only such questions, the answers to which will give an assessment of the study.
  2. Brevity is not only the sister of talent, but also the success of the survey. Formulate your questions briefly and succinctly - do not add clarifying phrases when everything is clear from the question itself. They will distract the respondent.
  3. Logical questions. Veiled and meaningless phrases will lead the opponent away from the real answer. This can confuse the question that is responsible for the cause and effect relationship, which will negatively affect the results of the study.
  4. Sequence of questions. Keep track of the questionnaire questions. If the survey has an incorrect sequence, the interviewer will receive distorted research information. To prevent this, a simple trick is often used - first they show simple questions, and then increase their complexity.
  5. One question, one topic. It is better for the respondent to ask only one answer in one question. Then it will be considered the only important one. Otherwise, if there are several topics, the focus on the primary question may go to another.
  6. No clues. In questions of the questionnaire there should not be obvious clues. Otherwise, the study will not be natural - its answers will lead to a distortion of the results. Only an explanation of a complex issue is allowed.
  7. Using open-ended questions. Giving the respondent the opportunity to give his own answer, without choosing from the proposed ones, the study will turn out to be more accurate and complete (covers different sides).
to menu ↑

Questionnaire survey

Having thought over the research topic and compiled a list of necessary questions in your head or on paper, you can proceed to the stage of creating the questionnaire. Here is my pattern by which I conduct my anchor surveys:

This plan is used only for anonymous surveys. If the questionnaire requires fixing the details of the study participants, then another item “Registration” appears. He goes immediately after the item "Greeting".

Also, to create a successful profile, I am guided by the following recommendations:

  • The questionnaire should not contain spelling errors. Otherwise, the respondents' confidence in the interviewer falls, which may affect the quality of the research results.
  • For each question I give all possible answers. If necessary, add a field for the personal response of the respondent.
  • Before publishing, I test the created survey. Usually I read aloud everything that is written in the questionnaire. And also I answer questions of the so-called aerobatics sheet:

in content

  • questions about the facts of consciousness (show the respondent’s opinion, his wishes and plans for the future),
  • questions about the facts of behavior (reveal the actions and actions of the respondent),
  • questions about the personality of the respondent (show his personality characteristics - gender, age, etc.).
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  • closed questions. In the questionnaire for them, there are already ready-made answers, from which the respondent chooses his own option,
  • open questions. They do not affect the response of the respondent (no suggested answers). Thus, they are allowed to express their point of view on the issue. Therefore, they are more informative and complete than closed ones.
  • half-closed questions. They contain both obvious answers and the ability of the respondent to write their own version.
  • direct and indirect questions.

A few words about closed questions. They can be alternative (the respondent can choose only one answer from the proposed ones) and non-alternative (several answer options). Mostly used in simple matters where the choice is obvious (one or more). Otherwise, if a detailed answer is required from the respondent, open or semi-closed questions are proposed.

Common mistakes in compiling a survey

The inconsistency of questions (answers). This error is often found in questionnaires - questions (or answers) contain semantic logical inconsistencies and contradictions. As a result, such questionnaires are difficult to analyze, and the results of the study will be unreliable. Here is an example of a half-closed question with an extra answer (the last one), which can confuse the respondent for a while:

Multiple survey topics. In order not to distract the respondent from the questions, do not push two topics into one question at once. Otherwise, the results may lose their information content (distortion of information). Here is an example questionnaire with several topics for discussion:

No equivalent choice. It happens that the question of the questionnaire divides the respondent's opinion into opposite halves. Not only can he not choose the normal answer, it also makes him strain his brain. Here is an example of such a question:

The presence of specific issues requiring special knowledge. I recently answered one questionnaire of the popular information business businessman on Runet regarding his distribution. Many questions of his questionnaire contained specific terms. I had to climb Yandex in search of deciphering tricky phrases.

Very difficult questions. Simplicity is the key to success in any business. The rule here is simple - the simpler the question, the more adequate the result will be. Here is an example of one question about instant coffee, after which the desire to answer may diminish:

An example of a questionnaire to evaluate your site

In conclusion, I offer you a small sample version of the survey on the assessment of a personal site. The questions in this questionnaire are simple, the answers contain a bit of humor. You can make your own version of the questionnaire using this template and get a lot of useful and relevant information about your site. Here is the link to this profile:

Material is available only to subscribers!

Classification of questions in the questionnaire

All questions used in the questionnaire can be classified:

in content

  • questions about the facts of consciousness (show the respondent’s opinion, his wishes and plans for the future),
  • questions about the facts of behavior (reveal the actions and actions of the respondent),
  • questions about the personality of the respondent (show his personality characteristics - gender, age, etc.).
to menu ↑
  • closed questions. In the questionnaire for them, there are already ready-made answers, from which the respondent chooses his own option,
  • open questions. They do not affect the response of the respondent (no suggested answers). Thus, they are allowed to express their point of view on the issue. Therefore, they are more informative and complete than closed ones.
  • half-closed questions. They contain both obvious answers and the ability of the respondent to write their own version.
  • direct and indirect questions.

A few words about closed questions. They can be alternative (the respondent can choose only one answer from the proposed ones) and non-alternative (several answer options). Mostly used in simple matters where the choice is obvious (one or more). Otherwise, if a detailed answer is required from the respondent, open or semi-closed questions are proposed.

by the method of transferring the question

This type of questions will be examined by examples in the last part of this manual (3rd post about the script).

Common mistakes in compiling a survey

The inconsistency of questions (answers). This error is often found in questionnaires - questions (or answers) contain semantic logical inconsistencies and contradictions. As a result, such questionnaires are difficult to analyze, and the results of the study will be unreliable. Here is an example of a half-closed question with an extra answer (the last one), which can confuse the respondent for a while:

Multiple survey topics. In order not to distract the respondent from the questions, do not push two topics into one question at once. Otherwise, the results may lose their information content (distortion of information). Here is an example questionnaire with several topics for discussion:

No equivalent choice. It happens that the question of the questionnaire divides the respondent's opinion into opposite halves. Not only can he not choose the normal answer, it also makes him strain his brain. Here is an example of such a question:

The presence of specific issues requiring special knowledge. I recently answered one questionnaire of the popular information business businessman on Runet regarding his distribution. Many questions of his questionnaire contained specific terms. I had to climb Yandex in search of deciphering tricky phrases.

Very difficult questions. Simplicity is the key to success in any business. The rule here is simple - the simpler the question, the more adequate the result will be. Here is an example of one question about instant coffee, after which the desire to answer may diminish:

An example of a questionnaire to evaluate your site

In conclusion, I offer you a small sample version of the survey on the assessment of a personal site. The questions in this questionnaire are simple, the answers contain a bit of humor. You can make your own version of the questionnaire using this template and get a lot of useful and relevant information about your site. Here is the link to this profile:

Material is available only to subscribers!

This concludes the theoretical part of the polls. In the next part I will talk about how to create a questionnaire on your site in various ways.

1. Introduction - greeting and explanation of the purpose of the questionnaire

  • Representation of a research organization.
  • designation of the topic and purpose of the study in an accessible and understandable way to the audience.
  • motivation of the respondent so that he answers questions with interest, does not miss them, tries to answer fully and objectively, would be well-disposed.
  • instructions for filling out the questionnaire (if necessary). Clearly articulate the rules so that any respondent can understand them the first time.
  • guarantee anonymity of responses (with an anonymous survey).
  • designation of contacts or addresses for the return of the questionnaire (if necessary).

2. The main part

Here, in accordance with the research program, questions are given that are posed in a certain sequence and meet the sociological criteria for constructing the questionnaire. The questions of the questionnaire should exactly correspond to the subject of the sociological survey, since the result of the study depends, first of all, on the clarity of the questionnaire and the relevance of the questionnaire to the research objectives.

Types of QuestionsExamples
By structureclosed (with answer options)How did you familiarize yourself with this issue of the magazine?
  1. I subscribe to the magazine
  2. I bought
  3. Took from relatives, acquaintances
  4. Read in the library
open (no answer options)What problems and difficulties in organizing the work of the editorial office would you like to note?
half closedО каких видах туризма Вам было бы интересно прочитать в нашем журнале?
  1. Организованный
  2. Любительский
  3. Автотуризм
  4. Sports
  5. Экстремальный
  6. Другие (назовите)
По функциямthe mainDo you like our magazine?
controlIf you had no financial difficulties, would you subscribe to our magazine next year?
filtering (screening part of the audience)Do you read Komsomolskaya Pravda?
  1. Yes
  2. Not
Attention! Questions 2–5 are answered only by those who read Komsomolskaya Pravda.
trapsHave you read the book of the writer Ivan Yakimov? (Non-existent writer.)
In contentquestions about events, factsWhat publications do you write out?
questions about motives, opinions, ratingsExpress your opinion on the design of "MK".
In shapedirectDo you like the profession of a journalist?
indirectWould you advise your son to become a journalist?
projective, offeringIf you were the editor, what would you change in the newspaper?
The naturealternative (the respondent can choose only one answer from the proposed ones)Do you like the magazine?
  1. Yes very
  2. Mostly like
  3. Probably not
  4. Difficult to answer
non-alternative (several answers)If you are a fan of our magazine, what attracts you to it?
  1. Interesting in content
  2. I like the design
  3. I trust the authors of the magazine
  4. Attracts useful information, advertising
  5. Like tone, magazine style
  6. Other
By sightexistential (about the essence of the phenomenon)Does this phenomenon exist?
definitive (definitive)What is a phenomenon?
evaluativeGood or bad?
analyticalWhy is this a phenomenon?
substantiatingWhy is this opinion about the phenomenon?
constructiveWhat should be done with the phenomenon?

When structuring the main part, one should not forget about some of the rules for compiling the questionnaire:

  1. Keep track of the order of questions. You should start with simple questions that will make the respondent become drawn into the questionnaire process and prepare for answers to more personal questions. You never have to start with difficult questions. The complexity of the questions should increase by the middle of the study. Inside the questionnaire, you can mix difficult questions with simple ones. Towards the end, when a person is usually tired, again simpler questions are raised.
  2. Consider all the answers. Try to offer all possible answers to the question and, if necessary, add the "other" field for a free answer.
  3. Formulate questions briefly and concisely. You should not add clarifying phrases when everything is clear from the question itself. They will distract the respondent.
  4. Formulate questions available. All terms and concepts used in the questions should be unambiguous and understandable to the ordinary person. Otherwise, give explanations. It is generally better to avoid issues requiring some special knowledge, otherwise the information received will be incompetent. Your questionnaire should be understood by the maximum number of survey participants. The more accessible it is for the respondent to understand, the more willingly he responds to it.
  5. Follow the logic. Answer options should fully correspond to the question posed.
  6. Make sure that questions do not affect the honor and dignity of respondents. Nothing in the questionnaire should offend, embarrass or cause hostility.
  7. Do not use turns that can push the respondent to give a definite answer ("Isn't that true, the newspaper" XXX "is an objective publication?"). In questions of the questionnaire there should not be obvious clues. Otherwise, the study will not be natural, and its answers will lead to a distortion of the results. Only an explanation of a complex issue is allowed.
  8. Do not try to formulate complex sentences that contain several conditions or questions. In this case, people can give an answer to a particular question, ignoring or simply "sweeping" the rest.
  9. Verify the objectivity of answers with security questions. However, do not put them immediately after the main question. It is better through a few questions so that the interviewee does not notice that they are checking him.
  10. Use only mutually exclusive answers in alternative questions.
  11. Avoid spelling mistakes. A competent questionnaire always indicates the seriousness of the company, arouses trust in it and respect.
  12. Choose the number of questions in the questionnaire depending on the tasks and the depth of the study. If the questionnaire is too large, then do not forget to reward the respondents for the time taken with gifts (branded souvenirs, bonus cards, cash rewards). Believe me, this will increase loyalty to your company.
  13. Test the profile. Read it aloud and cross out all unnecessary words that do not carry information, but only clog the text. Get clarity and correct wording. Check that the level of questions and the target audience match. Hand out several profiles to your friends. Take into account all misunderstandings and inaccuracies that arise and correct the questionnaire. If you answer the questionnaire easily and simply, it does not cause difficulties in perception and negative emotions, it is filled in one go, which means that it is correctly composed and ready for the survey.

3. Passport or lens (for non-anonymous questionnaires) - socio-demographic data of respondents

This is a very important part of the questionnaire because objective data about a person are usually group-forming attributes. A passport usually includes questions designed to find out gender, age, type and level of education, place of residence, profession and position, type of company the person works for, marital status, availability and number of children, income level per family member. Sometimes it turns out nationality and religion, party affiliation, etc. In general, the passport includes those socio-demographic characteristics that are needed in connection with the program and research tasks.

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