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I'd like to fine-tune my vision by running a survey of people who are searching for widget establishments. I know I can reach people doing this search, as a search for individual establishments is the best somebody is going to do online right now to get information. The primary search term has remarkably few ads (only 5), so I am essentially guaranteed a placement.
I want to ask people to complete a survey, asking them how they locate and choose widget establishments, both when they travel and in their home town. (i.e. have they used the available guide books, web sites, phone book, etc.) I also want to ask them some questions about desired features for the site. I don't want to waste my time building features that people don't need or want, and I hope to also get ideas for features that I haven't thought of.
I'd like to hear of others' experiences using adwords to solicit for surveys - whether or not for an existing website. Of course, I'm particularly interested in hearing of cases where people have done this for a website that does not yet exist. (The domain is registered, the survey will be on the site, but there will be no other content.)
Is is necessary to offer an incentive? I can't really offer a concrete incentive. I can offer a free "premium membership", but whether or not there will BE a premium membership (basic membership will definately be free) and what might be included in a premium membership is at this time undetermined, and in part will be determined by the outcome of the survey. I do want the survey to be confidential, and so taking an email address (necessary for offering the incentive) will call into question confidentiality. Anyone have experience with response rate and accuracy with and without an incentive?
I do not want to annoy respondants any more than necessary. I know they are looking for a guide to widget establishments, and there isn't a good one. I know I am diverting them from their primary purpose of finding a widget establishment. Should I offer up a list of the best of the existing widget establishment directories at the end of the survey? (And/or for those who choose not to take the survey after the read an introduction?)
I'm also thinking of including an Adsense block for either of the two scenarios above (either they choose not to take the survey, or they have completed it.) This might generate a little income (but probably not much, as I will probably stop after 1000 responses) but at the same time might give me some indication of what kind of advertising the site might attract.
Of course, I intend to be completely honest, and have the ad say something like "take our widget establishment (or widget establishment guide) survey".
All gotchas and suggestions appreciated!
All I really do is craft an ad stating something like "What is your single biggest question about <insert keyword>"
After clicking they land on my survey page and I start things off by being honest. "We are creating a site for <niche> and we want to be sure to deliver exactly what you need or are looking for, etc.
Then I have a single box where they can submit their single biggest question/want/feature.
I keep it small to just a single question and don't try to capture demographic info or have a ton of multiple choice stuff. I've found that getting someone to state the "biggest" or most "important" question or need in their own words will get you better and more truthful responses becasue it takes so little time on their part and doesn't force them to make a ton of decisions.
Then I collect e-mail and they hit submit.
I usually don't even offer a bribe. If the bribe is too good, people will just complete your survey as quickly as possible with junk answers to get the bribe which makes the survey results skewed. Plus if someone completes the survey with no incenntive then you know they are very interested and want waht you are offering.
My conversion for people completeing the survey ranges from 5%-20% depending on the market.
Now my purpose is for ideas on creating a sales or landing page and not a directory. I use the responses to address people's concerns about a product or service and it REALLY helps conversion rates right out the gate when I launch the campaign.
In your case with so little competition for your main keyword you should be able to get clicks pretty cheap and perhaps as a incentive you could just let people know about the sites launch a week or two early before you start opening it to the public so to speak.
This makes people feel special and you could also ask for feedback from your "Charter Members" during this period to get even more feedback to tweak the site before your start the marketing machine in full swing.
It's simple, free and people love to feel special.