Surveys offer a great way to collect information and feedback about a wide array of subjects. And there are nearly as many ways to create a survey as there are topics to survey on.
One popular method for survey creation is Google Forms. While not the right tool for everyone in every case, it works for many people. We cover how to create a Google survey with their forms tool below.
How to create a Google survey: What you need to know
Like most Google products, Google Forms is fairly intuitive. You can create a Google form by following the visual prompts. The exact step-by-step process may change as a result of updates, but here’s a basic rundown on how to get going:
- Navigate to Google Forms directly or through Gmail’s Google apps menu.
- Start a blank form, or use one of the templates provided.
- Follow the visual prompts to fill in information and add questions and other elements. There are multiple options available for adding images, videos, and new sections.
- Share the form via email, direct link, embed, Facebook, or Twitter.
- Navigate back to this form to review the responses. You can also set the form to send responses directly to your email.
To ensure people fill out your survey and that you get the information you need, we recommend incorporating elements of your company’s branding and asking open-ended questions.
When you think “survey”, you probably don’t think “branding tool.” But just like any materials you present to your customers and business partners, it’s important to remember that they represent your business. This is why branding is an important consideration, even with a simple form.
But there’s also a practical angle to branding your forms. Johnny Woods, director at Thrive, points out, “Whether it’s internal or external, you want to assure the user the information they provide is for your organization. It can be off-putting when you direct someone to an external site, even if that site is Google.” With Google Forms, you can address this point by adding your company logo and adjusting the form’s background color.
However, it’s difficult to give your Google forms any real visual identity — the branding functionality is limited to changing a few colors and adding a logo. With JotForm, you can create a visually stunning survey, rather than a wall of text. Good design not only gives a better first impression (it only takes one tenth of a second to form one!), but it also keeps your survey participants more engaged.
Ask open-ended questions
When surveying, there’s a delicate balance between close-ended questions (yes/no) and open-ended questions. While yes/no questions are easier and quicker for your respondents to answer, you don’t get as much detail. If you need a detailed answer to inform your business decisions — such as getting insight into customers’ experiences on your website — then open-ended questions are the way to go.
Dale Broadhead, founder of Conversion Hut, knows this firsthand. He regularly uses surveys to help clients optimize their conversion rates. “Ninety-nine percent of the time, we use open-ended questions. We need that insight to figure out how to better push customers toward a purchase, and having them answer a simple yes or no to even well thought-out questions isn’t enough.”
Surveys and forms aren’t always just a one-off thing — sometimes they’re an integral part of operating your business. If that’s the case for you, Google Forms may not be the best choice.
Here are two shortcomings in particular:
- You can’t integrate with important business services. Think CRMs and email marketing platforms that help you better connect with your customers and grow your business. Meanwhile, JotForm integrates with more than 100 apps across industries and categories — from file sharing to analytics to developer tools.
- You can’t accept payments. Many businesses use forms as part of their payment process, but Google Forms makes it difficult to do so because it requires using another, separate service to accept payments (which adds friction to the user experience). JotForm provides secure payment integration with its forms. You can choose from popular services like Square, PayPal, and Stripe, and create a seamless payment process that works well for both you and your customers.
You can make the switch from Google Forms to JotForm easily with JotForm’s Google Forms import tool. It enables you to easily import all of your existing forms (and associated data) from Google. Once you’ve got that quick step out of the way, check out these easy-to-use survey templates that will give your old Google Forms a run for their money.