Create an online poll – tips and best practices

4 min read

Pressed for time but want to add instant engagement to your site? Adding an online poll is an easy first step into the world of interactive content. Using Riddle’s quiz maker, you can create and embed your first poll in under 60 seconds flat.

How can an online poll be so effective? It all comes down to turning your passive visitors into active participants.

Let’s face it – we all love to give our opinion on most topics… An online poll can be fun like ‘Which film star would you like to marry?’ or you can link it to your core topic. The latter will provide helpful feedback or can become the subject of a fascinating new article.

Which online poll fits your goal?

We love the creativity of our users on Riddle and we’ve seen that a poll is not just a poll. Here are the main types of poll that have caught our eye so far.

1) An online poll on a specific topic

A poll can be a stand alone piece of content that tackles big (or not-so-big) questions like Which soccer star would win in a fight? (From giant sports site 90min)

Or it could have some fun with a particular topic that then generates interest in a follow up piece of content. Check out Long Island News 12’s quirky look at National Pickle Day – their poll led on to a quiz about all things pickle-related, boosting time on site still further.

online poll

These bite-size content pieces are perfect for sharing on Facebook and other social media.

2) Place an online poll in an article

Polls are perfect for getting your audience’s feedback about an article. Check out this article by the BBC – asking for audience feedback after reading about controversial proposal about banning glitter on environmental grounds.

A huge side benefit? People who click and interact with your site – especially to give their opinion – are far more engaged, and stay much longer. Increased time on site is great for SEO, page views, and (if you’re selling something) increasing the chance they’ll become happy customers.

3) Use an online poll to promote a new product

People like to buy things that are tried and tested. You can use a poll to promote your product by showing that lots of other people are already using it.

No less than the global golf brand Callaway used an online poll to highlight their audience’s biggest frustrations with golf – with marketing messaging on their page explaining how their new golf clubs would solve them.

Create your own online poll: four options with Riddle

The other good news is that your online poll doesn’t have to be boring. Using Riddle’s quiz maker, you can choose from four completely types of polls (including ranked polls, sliders, and more) to suit your content needs (and keep things fresh for your audience).

Here are a few examples from our partners:

  1. Opinion poll: pro football team San Francisco 49ers
  2. Multi-pollour unique new poll format
  3. Upvote list: BBC Music
  4. Ranked poll: Arsenal FC
  5. Reaction poll: BBC Sport (see below)

Your online poll: tips and best practices

Polls sound simple… Just ask a question, right? But while making your own online poll is easy, it’s easy to shoot yourself in the foot with bad execution.

Our founders have been in the quiz and poll business since 2001 – and here are our top suggestions to make your online poll great:

  • Use a compelling main image: Sure, we know a picture is worth a thousand words and all… but it’s true. Selecting the right image grabs your audience’s attention – so they’ll read your poll and vote.
  • Two to four choices max: It’s easy to get carried away – adding choice after choice to your poll. But that often means scrolling – especially on smartphones. And you’ll also come against the ‘paradox of choice‘ – give people too many options, and they won’t choose any.
  • Ask a short, punchy question: Keep your questions to the point – under 10 words ideally, or 15 at the most. Short questions mean more people can understand the poll as they’re idly scanning your page – then vote.

Add lead generation to your online poll

You got your poll up – and people are voting… hurrah!

That’s a great first step – but just that… a first step. Your site visitor has clicked and is interested in your site – isn’t this a great chance to develop the relationship further?

We recommend adding an optional lead generation form with a compelling call to action. Optional forms work better – they only collect genuinely interested people’s details, while letting casual visitors move on immediately to see the poll results.

Riddle makes it easy – and you can seamlessly send all poll leads (and their poll responses) to your own email marketing tool for automatic follow up. Use our native integrations with ActiveCampaign, MailChimp or AWeber, or our free Zapier app to connect Hubspot, Constant Contact, Marketo, and hundreds more.

The user flow?

  1. Your visitors vote
  2. Up to 35% fill in the optional form
  3. They see their results.
  4. Optionally share on Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, and Twitter

Need more info about creating an online poll?

Have any questions about creating polls – or awesome quizzes and personality tests?

Don’t be shy – drop us a line at Our founders read and respond to every message – often in under 5 minutes flat. That’s fast – just like creating an online poll! 😉

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