The two questions you need to ask when doing on-page user surveys

This is the tenth in a series of articles on growth hacking, inspired by my journey to a minidegree in Growth Marketing from the CXL Institute. Read more: What is growth hacking? | How to run a successful growth marketing experiment in six steps | This one mindset will make you a better marketer | The successful formula for A/B testing mastery| This one overlooked tool will supercharge your content marketing


On-site user surveys are a goldmine for content marketers. Deepening your understanding of each user’s mindset on a given page can help you optimize that page for the desired conversion.

[You are using on-page surveys, right? 😀]

For example, you may realize that the call to action does not match want to use wants to find on that page. Or that the content doesn’t answer the right questions to users looking for. A mismatch between expectation and reality is the surest way to push somebody off your site.

So how do you learn more about your user’s mindset? It’s simple: Just ask! There’s no point in waiting around for the 1% of customers that will reach out to ask questions or tell you what was wrong. Most people will just move on. They won’t invest the time to reach out because they are busy.

These on-page surveys give you immediate feedback and instant insights into your users’ mindsets. The on-page survey is an opportunity to leverage real-time insights so that you can optimize content to align with what most customers expect or need from each page. Survey software VWO calls this “asking questions for actionable insights.”

It works like this: You set a timer that triggers the survey after a user spends a certain amount of time on your site. You can also have the survey triggered by an action, such as a user exiting your site. The survey asks a targeted question related to that specific page with the goal of getting direct feedback.

Even though on-page surveys are the most reliable way to discover what your consumers want, not everyone will complete the surveys.

To increase your rate of completion, limit each survey to one or two questions max. And think carefully about the best question(s) to ask on each page. The question should be relevant to the task at hand, so that means a different survey for someone clicking away from checkout then someone on a blog article or product page.

Here are the two questions you need to ask your users. Remember that each brand is different. And every website has its own unique conversion objectives. So, while the text may differ, the objectives are similar. These two questions deliver the greatest punch at the lowest cost for you and the lowest effort for your user.

#1: Do you have any questions that you haven’t been able to find answers to?

The objective of this question is to identify gaps in your content marketing strategy. The question can be worded in all kinds of ways, so as long as it is focused on identifying unmet expectations on each phase.

Responses will be extremely useful to you in several ways. First, you can assess whether or not the page has the right content, structure, and/or CTA to address user expectations. You want to reduce friction and make each page an optimized touchpoint in your user journey.

Second, you can use these questions to inform your FAQs and other content that lives elsewhere in your purchase journey and user experience.

Finally, these insights can also be shared with your marketing colleagues so that relevant marketing campaigns can be updated with stronger copy or more targeted landing pages.

#2: What’s holding you back?

The objective of this question is to identify roadblocks in the path to purchase. This question is more conversion-oriented and best suited to later stages in the purchase journey.

It can also be phrased like this: “What’s holding you back [TARGET ACTION/ right now?” This further directs the question towards specific feedback that you’re looking for.

One potential challenge with this question is that it is very broad and may convert poorly. If that’s happening on your site, try this approach:

  1. Start with a YES/NO question: “Is there anything holding you back from buying this product right now?”
  2. Then, once a user has invested in the answer, they’re more likely to complete the second question: “What’s holding you back?”

Answers to these questions should also be shared with your sales team, as they can identify opportunities to create season sales enablement material that addresses existing and emerging user concerns.

Even if your sales team already has a robust understanding of common objections, they can benefit from real-time insights that identify shifting patterns. That’s doubly true for sales teams that only update their sales enablement content and user research quarterly. Any delay in getting these insights into the sales process reduces revenue!

Linking survey insights to analytics

We’re not going to get deep into this but a quick word about analytics. There’s a major opportunity to pull these insights into your analytics and link them to specific segments. This is how you will identify content opportunities, such as content upgrades addressing specific concerns for certain segments.

The smarter you are about matching each page’s goal with the on-page survey, the more actionable your feedback will be. You can align these goals with those Goals and Events set up in your analytics, and then match survey responses to build segments based on demographics, goal completions conversions and/or other variables in your analytics.

This requires a certain level of sophistication, which can be developed by assessing the health of your Google Analytics. An integrated approach that pulls data insights from across the business into your analytics creates a holistic view that’s both accurate and highly actionable!

What’s the 6V Conversion Canvas and how do I use it?

This is the eighth in a series of articles on growth hacking, which I’m going deep into with a minidegree in Growth Marketing from the CXL Institute. Read more: What is growth hacking? | How to run a successful growth marketing experiment in six steps | This is the successful formula for A/B testing mastery| This one mindset will make you a better marketer


Optimization is all about efficiency. When you optimize, you are making things more efficient. You’re getting more out of the same resources by improving how they’re used or allocated.

But that’s only part of optimization. It’s also about effectiveness. As you make things more efficient, you also want to make them more effective. When you increase both efficiency and effectiveness, you fully unleash the power of optimization by not just streamlining (efficiency) but also amplifying (effectiveness).

For most of us, efficiency is the easy part. We’re great at the tweaking and fiddling that can unlock a few percentage points of improvement. It takes much more thought and experimentation to figure out the most effective way to use our resources.

That’s why I really like the 6V Conversion Canvas: It’s a clear framework for uncovering the information necessary to be most effective in your optimization efforts.

The 6V Conversion Canvas

In conversion optimization, success is pretty much correlated with research. The better you are at doing the dusk research upfront, before you start experimenting, the more likely it is that you will run effective experiments — which just also happens to be more efficient, as your waste less time and be more effective.

The 6V Conversion Canvas is a framework for desk research. It guides you through the six steps of gathering information and building a knowledge base to draw on for your conversion experiments. Even if you’ve been doing conversion optimization for a long time, the simplicity and structure of the 6V Canvas keeps you on track.

How to use the 6V Conversion Canvas

From the beginning, you need to do the research right so that you don’t waste time on experiments that don’t work because they’re built on faulty assumptions and bad data.

At the start of a new conversion optimization project, open the canvas and start at the top left. You’ll follow each prompt to help you surface useful information and valuable insights. To really excel at the research phase, think like a detective!

1. Value

First, you dive into the company values that are most important and relevant to the project. You want to carefully consider what would be most impactful to the business. This is where your understanding of the current parties comes in handy. At this stage, the objective is to be sure that your chores and projects can help the business of cheap it’s near term goals, rather than distracted.

2. Versus

The next step is to do a thorough competitor analysis. It’s quite possible that this information already exists internally. Even so, you want to be sure that you have a clear understanding of who the competition is and what they stand for. In fact, it’s almost always advisable to purchase from all of your competitors so you can experience what it’s like to be a customer.

Questions to ask yourself

To get a complete picture of your competition you’ll also want to:

  • look for any important audience overlaps
  • see how they are adapting and adjusting their own user experience by tracking their changes using tool like visualping or wachete
  • Learn what tools are using via built with.

3. View

At this stage, you’ll dive into your web analytics and get to know the behavior of your visitors.

Ask yourself questions like: where visitors again on your side, where they come from, what their journey is, and how they act on the most important pages. You’ll also want to explore any differences between segments or products, all of which can provide useful information for building effective conversion experiments.

Key areas to explore:

  • Traffic sources
  • Landing pages
  • Customer journeys across key segments, products and landing pages
  • Time on page
  • Scroll depth
  • Heat maps

After a thorough analysis, translate these insights into specific behavioral segments that track through your typical flow. These are essential, as you will be matching specific segments to each experiment.

4. Voice

You have some of the most useful information internally. Mainly, all of your customer service communications. Speak with everyone that you can, anyone that interacts directly with customers. That could be anyone from customer service reps to salespeople. Those that are closest to the customer or valuable resources direct, real-time insight into your customers.

For instance, your sales team will have a list of common objections that can help you prioritize experiments. These insights can also inform your information architecture so that you rank information in a way that directly addresses pressing problems.

Other treasure troves include social media feedback, website chat logs, user research, and interviews with actual customers.

5. Verified

Now it’s time to nerd out. A major part of successful conversion optimization is understanding the psychology behind human behavior. You always want to have a reason why you’re running a test and why are you expect there to be a result. Remember: hypothesis building that is at the core of growth marketing experiments. And strong hypotheses are based on science and not just internal data.

6. Validated

Nearly there! It’s so easy to run out of steam at this point. Just put in a little more effort to validate what you’ve learned so far through the lens of previous tests.

Pull up your experiment tracker and review your past tests to see if there is anything you can learn from them. More often than not, a quick refresher will prompt learnings that can make your next round of tests better.


Of course, this process is much longer than a block us. And not every experiment will require a lengthy research process. However, it’s best practice to pull up the canvas for each round of experiments. Things change quickly, especially at start ups. You’ll likely uncover fresh insights by going through this process regularly!