Random Thoughts on Life and Work

August 23, 2006

Survey Your Website

Filed under: Charities,Charity,Website — Darren Mullenix @ 4:25 pm

When was the last time you ever did a survey of your website visitors?  Have you ever done a survey?  Now, I am not advocating a survey for the sake of keeping some poor web designer busy.  But ask yourself the question, is there something on my website that does not need to be there?  And the ancillary question, is there something that my website doesn’t have that it should because it would be helpful/valuable to my constituency?  Again, it comes down to strategy.  What are you trying to accomplish with your website and is your constituency intuitively in tune with that strategy?  Aside from the demographic questions (which may or may not be relevant to what you need to know) here are some questions to consider:

  • How frequently do you visit our website?
  • What is your favorite section of our website?
  • Have you ever made a gift through our website?  More than once?
  • What features would you like to see on our website? (This may be open ended or a set list the respondent can choose from.  It is up to your ability to handle the data.)
  • Have you ever downloaded one of our project reports?
  • Have you ever recommended our website (or a page on our website) to a friend?
  • Do you receive our e-newsletter? (Assuming you have one.)  If not – would you like to?
  • What brought you to our website? (This is different from where they came from which your tracking software should be able to tell you.  This gets at the why.)
  • Is our website updated frequently enough?
  • General comments about our website.

Why should you do this?  Well, here are a few reasons that may be relevant:

  1. It will help to answer the question of whether or not your visitors’ experiences align with your overall web strategy.
  2. It will help to build community by allowing your visitors to have an impact on your presentation (be prepared to follow through).
  3. It will provide you with some insight into design problems that you may not have been aware of such as navigation challenges or visibility issues.
  4. It will help you build the case for additional budget resources to expand the impact that your website is having.

There are a couple of additional things to keep in mind.  Keep the survey short.  Make it easy to complete.  Make it easy to tabulate.  Don’t force answers on questions (allow questions to be left blank).  Make the survey optional.  Provide an opportunity to receive more information about your organization.  Make sure the respondent is only asked to complete the survey once (if they already did it, the survey should not pop up on their screen again).

Just in case you wondered, there is web-based software that can help you through the process.  Check out QuestionPro, Web Surveyor, or Zoomerang as some examples.  I am sure Google can provide you with many more.

Some thoughts to improve your website.  I hope it helps.


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