Early this week, I decided to run a quick survey on what my web site visitors (and my subscribers and customers) actually wanted. The survey asked about their web building experience, and what they were interested in building. I even had a “type in a question you’d like to ask me” question.

I did a survey quite awhile ago but many things have changed since. I changed my web site layout and focus. Even got myself a brand new logo. Suddenly, I had this strong urge to do another survey. Well, okay, the truth is I noticed that my sales were decreasing and had to find out why. What better way than to ask my visitors, right?

Anyway, did the survey and lo and behold, was I amazed with the replies. I now see my web site in a different light. Oh boy, I’ve definitely gone way off track.

Before the survey, I felt that I had to cover all bases due to many what ifs. What if they wanted to learn to build content sites. What if they’re never built one before, what if they have and want something more advance?

The what if’s were driving me crazy. One moment I was doing this and another I was doing that (after abandoning the ‘this’ ). Doing the survey was definitely the right thing to do. In fact, I it’s a permanent part of my web site set up.

How Did I Conduct the Survey

I did my first survey using AskDatabase. After reading their salesletter, it sounded like a dream come true survey tool. They even offer a 21 day trial. So, it didn’t take long for me to decide to use them.

What did I think? Well, it took me ages to set up just the one survey. AskDatabase is not very intuitive when it comes to setting up survey questionS. The capital “S” at the end of question was done on purpose. Because creating a one question survey was easy enough. But things started to get way too complicated when you start adding more questions.

Changing the survey questions around was a nightmare especially if you set up one of those surveys when choosing different answers would take you to a different question.

Checking out survey results was equally difficult. You have to click on each question to see a graph for the answers you received. It would have been nice to have a snapshot of aggregate answers to all multiple choice questions.

There was one area where AskDatabase excelled. A feature that I have yet to see in another survey service. AskDatabase has a keyword density tool. This tool runs through all your open ended questions (as opposed to multiple choice questions) and present you with a list of one and two word phrases that keep reoccurring in those questions. This is an excellent way to quickly find out the trend arising from the questions.

Though a great feature, the thought of creating another multi question survey using AskDatabase was just unbearable.

So, for my second survey I decided to go with SurveyMonkey. I had a multipage survey up within minutes. Adding questions was a breeze. I could easily change the type of question from, say multiple choice to comments, without having to delete the question and start over. I could rearrange questions at a few clicks of a button and I could view a snapshot of the survey results with the option to dig in further to see individual survey answers.

So far so good, the only feature that it does not provide, is a keyword density tool for my open ended questions.

After thinking about this for awhile, I think I may have found a way around this. SurveyMonkey lets you download the responses that you receive. Maybe if I downloaded my open ended questions and then ran it through a keyword density software such as Keyword Density Analyzer. That might work. What do you think?

Anyway, when I do come to the point when I’m ready to analyze my open ended questions, I’ll try this out and let you know. In the mean time maybe a suggestion to SurveyMonkey could get them to implement this feature.

So, there you go. If you haven’t done a survey on your web site visitors, why not do so now and share your results with us.