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How Survey Tools Can Improve Your Website Retention

When Sticky is a Good Thing
Website retention, or in Webmaster parlance, “having a sticky website,” can be enhanced with survey tools. A major goal of the Webmaster is to generate new traffic, but creating an environment where there are repeat visitors is equally important. There are numerous tricks in the Webmaster’s bag to promote this sort of retention, including email newsletters, serial content, and specialized information, but the online survey is perhaps the most interesting and most interactive of all.

Survey tools allow the Webmaster to easily create surveys that relate to the website’s theme, and embed them on the landing page, or even within an article or blog post. The survey tools are easy enough to use that surveys can be created on a regular basis to fit in with content topics as they arise, even on a daily basis.

The most obvious way survey tools promote website retention is that they provide additional content in the form of survey results, which are tied to earlier posts—with the goal being to encourage visitors to come back to learn the results of the poll.

Beyond learning the results, website retention is promoted also simply because visitors appreciate a more interactive website. The survey tools promote this interactivity by providing something on the website beyond content. The survey itself is an interactive tool that allows the visitor to participate more fully, making the website itself much more personal.

The use of survey tools actually does two things to improve website retention; first, it improves the rate of return visits when participants return later to view the poll results. Second, the surveys keep visitors interacting with the website for a longer period of time. Visitors who are presented with online surveys are more likely to feel like they are a part of a website community, rather than just a bystander. After completing the survey, further interaction can be encouraged by directing the user to related content, thereby extending the user’s stay for a longer period of time.

Surveys are a much better form of interactive content than others, such as games, because of the length of time involved. Surveys are fairly short and fast, and once completed, drive the visitor to other content. Games, on the other hand, keep the visitor on for a longer period of time, but unlike surveys, keep the visitor focused on a single task for too long so that they are less likely to click on ads or view other more important content.

The Web experience has evolved, and Web surfers now expect more than just a static website with plain content. The use of survey tools can add that little something extra the user craves, while still keeping the visitors on-task and interested in the website’s main focus.