Over the past few days I have inexplicably come across a number of marketing tools that were new to me; I am not sure if it was by chance or a lot were just released or something. Anyway, I am still testing a few of the more promising ones but one free tool called 4Q could really help many a webmaster understand their visitors better.


4 Questions (4Q)
Have you ever wondered why your website isn't functioning as well as you originally anticipated? Or perhaps you are seeing some very odd fluctuations in traffic and you wish you could ask your visitors what is going through their minds? Well now there is an easy way to get these answers and it is the classiest solution I have seen so far... and better yet it is free! Enter 4Q, the brainchild of analytics guru (or analytics "god" in my opinion) Avinash Kaushik and analytics company iPerceptions.

So what does 4Q do?
4Q is designed to answer 4 critical questions for you:

  1. How satisfied are my visitors?
  2. What are visitors at my website there to do?
  3. Are they completing what they set out to do?
  4. If not, why not? / If yes, what did they like best about the online experience?

The system is very simple for anyone to setup as Avinash personally notes in a helpful video tutorial he created.

Here is how it works once it is setup on your website:

  1. Of every 5 people that enters your website 1 will be selected and politely requested to participate in a survey to help you ensure your website has provided them with what they need; you can increase the ratio to whatever you like, all the way to 100% of visitors. Note: the survey is presented as a request to the visitor, provided in the politest manner possible and is not a popup.
  2. Once the visitor says "Yes" they agree to participate a popup window will be created and will be minimized to their task bar as they continue their session through your website. Should the visitor say "No" the request disappears and the visitor is taken to your website and will not be bothered again.
  3. Once the visitor has completed his/her session on your website he/she can open the popup that is waiting in their taskbar and quickly answer the 4 questions. Upon completion of the survey they are thanked and the popup disappears.

StepForth implemented this system on our main site (www.stepforth.com) just last weekend and so far I have been impressed by the preliminary feedback. StepForth's website is about to get replaced with a new design and emphasis so it is even more worthwhile to learn whatever I can about the current site's failings. In the spirit of sharing and accountability here are our preliminary 4Q results in PDF format; sharing this information will make us improve our approval rating that much faster. Here is an example of the survey showing what we could improve upon:


In the above screenshot (click image for larger version) one can clearly see some visitors have had problems finding the latest news that we publish on our SEO News Blog and about StepForth's company information. From this feedback it is now obvious we need to provide clearer routes to both types of content. It may seem we are jumping the gun since our data is based on only a few replies; however, I have a hunch that the people that replied represent a great many who had the same problem but did not fill out or get invited to fill out the survey.

You may be wondering... doesn't analytics provide a lot of these answers? Not really, as Avinash states "Clickstream data is often missing the context... But with answers to these simple questions you'll have the context to make sense of it all." In other words, combining 4Q and a great analytics program will provide the information you need to make even more insightful changes to influence your website's success.

Will 4Q Impede Search Engines?
No, 4Q is a JavaScript-based system and since JavaScript is not activated by visiting search engines you can be confident that 4Q will not impact your search engine rankings. In fact, if anything the answers provided by 4Q will allow you to create a better user experience on your website and with additional insight into visitor's intentions you could very well increase rankings.

Surveys are Everywhere, What Makes 4Q so Special?
4Q was created by analytics experts to add context to the often incomplete picture that current analytic software provides. The system is simple, free, easy to install, and once you set it up there is no maintenance required other than making changes to your site or patting yourself on the back based on the valuable feedback you receive from survey participants.

May 14, 2008

Ross Dunn is the CEO of StepForth Web Marketing Inc., a web marketing company founded in 1997 and based in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. StepForth provides cutting-edge search engine optimization services that provide highly successful, targeted results for its clientele. Ross Dunn is a Certified Internet Marketing and Business Strategist (CIMBS) with a background in web design and business management. His broad Internet experience in combination with a talented staff has made StepForth a name synonymous with top results.


Thanks a lot for this one. I'll get putting it on my blog asap.

So I'm wondering how this is different from any other survey platform.

Aside from being the brainchild of Avinash Kaushik of course.

> My pleasure MrCooker, I love to share news of great tools!

> Hey Arthur there is a great thread of comments on Avinash's original posting about 4Q that will likely answer your question better than I could. One example of how it is better is that Avinash's team is going to add some superior functionality to the survey that IMHO is specialized and not likely that easy to find on other tools. Free is still a big factor though ;-)
Here is the URL: http://www.kaushik.net/avinash/2008/03/4q-the-best-online-survey-for-a-website-yours-free.html


I wanted to reach out and thank you for the mention as well as the endorsement. It is much appreciated!
4Q is very much a faith based initiative, and it is thrilling each and every time I learn that someone has gleaned insights as a result of implementing.

If you'd be open to it, I would love to find out how the re-design affects some of the metrics you're trending through 4Q.


Jonathan Levitt
VP Marketing

Comments closed after 30 days to combat spam.

Search Engine Guide > Ross Dunn > Free Survey Tool Fuels Marketing Insight