With the right technology at our fingertips, it’s easy to conduct an online survey. But having the right questions for your survey takes some thought, and that is the key to getting the results you really need.

Here are some points to be aware of when building out a survey for your business:

Explain what the survey is about.

People will not take a survey if they have no idea what it is for. Be clear in stating its purpose right up front. Sometimes a little incentive like a small gift or coupon can help get people engaged.

Respect the participants’ time.

Even if you have a lot of questions you want answered, don’t make the survey too long. If you would like the participants to finish the entire survey, be respectful of their time and whittle down the questionnaire to your most important ones to get them completed in a timely manner.

Keep the questions simple and easy to answer.

Your questions should not only be easy to understand but the answer should be quick and easy as well. If the questions are long and take time to read or have to be re-read multiple times to understand it, people will not effectively participate in your survey. In fact, using yes or no questions is most effective.

Define the answers with more choices if needed.

If you can’t get away with using yes or no questions, try something different yet simplistic. Formulate your questions so participants can answer on a scale of 0-10, perhaps. With more quantitative answers to choose from, the better analysis you can make from the results.

Don’t lead the questions.

Choose the right words to construct your questions, and don’t lead the participants to answers. Take the last blog post’s example regarding the Xerox fax machine survey, for example. The question was worded so poorly and confusing, it led people to answer no.

Thank the participants.

Obviously time is money and don’t forget to thank those who helped you with the survey. You could make your survey anonymous which people might appreciate (and be more honest), or you can ask them to give you their names and email address so you can follow up with a thank you, or even incentive gift. Think about what might go over well with your customer demographic.