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.
You can also build surveys with Jotform’s free online survey maker.
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 the apps menu in the upper right corner of the Google homepage.
- 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.
You can also open Google Forms while working in Sheets, Docs, or Slides. Simply navigate to the File tab and start a new Forms doc, just as you would start any new Google document.
To connect a Google Sheet to a new Google Form, create your form while working within the spreadsheet you’d like to link. Select the Create a new form option under the Tools tab in Google Sheets to do so. Any data collected in your form will save to your spreadsheet.
Among the provided Google Form templates, the Event Feedback and Customer Feedback templates are quality survey-taking options. The Course Evaluation template is another solid starting point, as is the Exit Ticket template.
Whether you select a blank form or a template, you’ll quickly find ways to personalize your creation.
Click on any section of the template to alter that part of the form, including its title, which appears near the top of the page. Additionally, you can change the survey questions included in the template and select whether you prefer multiple-choice or short-answer responses. If you opt to start with a blank form, there will be one title section and one question to personalize as you get started.
There are two option menus that facilitate customization as well. One appears to the right of your form sections and questions, and the other menu is on the top right portion of the page.
Use the side menu to add a question, section, image, or video. This is also where you can import questions from any previously used Google Form from Google Drive.
The top menu is the place to customize your theme and preview the form. When altering your form theme, you can also choose a header photo from a selection of preloaded options or upload a custom image to use.
There are multiple ways to distribute your form. To share via email or direct link, or embed on a web page, click on the Send button in the top right corner of the page. There, you’ll find options for each sharing method. Also, there’s an option to automatically collect email responses. Activate that feature via the checkbox at the top of the Send menu.
In the same menu, you can opt to share your form via Twitter or Facebook. Click on either social media icon to activate this feature.
Before long, responses will begin to arrive.
You can access survey responses in the form editor. After clicking the Responses menu in the top center of the page, you’ll find a summary of accumulated data, which is broken down by individual question and individual responder.
Next, take a look at the Settings section. There are additional response settings here, including the option to collect email addresses. You can also choose whether to send respondents a copy of their collected answers.
To ensure people fill out your survey and 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. 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 has dozens of integrations 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.
Jotform’s free online survey maker
If you want an easier and more robust solution, try Jotform. The free online survey maker has everything you need to create a shareable survey, including intuitive drag-and-drop tools for added customization.
Create beautiful online surveys with interactive questions that engage users and boost completion rates. You can set up conditional logic to personalize the experience for respondents. It’s easy to embed the survey in your website or share it with a link. As an added benefit, you can accept responses from any device.
When your responses roll in, manage your data through Jotform Tables. You can view survey results and analyze data to reveal important insights about your clients. And it’s all available for free.
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.
Check out Jotform’s 800-plus survey template options to take your surveys to another level in no time.
See also Jotform’s comprehensive guide about: Google Forms