Polls are great for understanding what people and potential clients think about certain topics. You can use them for something as innocent as an upcoming party theme or as involved as the brand direction of your company.
At its simplest, you’d create a new Google Form, insert a multiple-choice question, click “Preview” (the eye icon), and hit “Send.”
However, it requires more involvement to make a poll on Google Forms. That’s why our comprehensive guide goes into greater detail.
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How To Make a Poll on Google Forms
Although Google Forms isn’t specifically designed as a poll maker, using it as a Google polling tool is a pretty straightforward process:
Step 1: Create a Blank Form
- Launch your web browser and go to Google Forms.
- Choose “Blank” in the “Start a new form” section.
- Click on the “Untitled form” field and provide a name for your poll.
Step 2: Insert Your Question
When adding your form questions, it’s important to remember that polls aren’t surveys. In fact, they’re much shorter and usually ask only one or two questions. If you want to ask multiple questions, include only the most important ones to keep it short and accessible.
- In the vertical toolbar on the right, click “Add question.”
- Enter your question (or instructions) in the “Question” field.
- Google Forms will automatically select a question type for you, depending on what you’ve entered.
- If the platform didn’t choose one for you, click the drop-down menu (in the upper-right corner) of your question card.
- Next, select a question type from the list.
Step 3: Test Your Form
Once you’ve added your question(s), your poll should be ready to receive votes and answers (unless you want to customize it further). To ensure that your form functions correctly, click the “Preview” button (the eye icon) in the top-right portion of your screen to check it.
How To Share Your Google Forms Poll
It’s good practice to make your poll easily accessible, so you commonly see them shared as a QR code or live link. In Google Forms, there are three main ways to share your poll: Using a link, sending it through email, or embedding it.
Using a Link
Polls are best shared via a link, as it’s easier to distribute among participants. Even if you don’t have a copy of these email addresses, you can send them the link to get their answers through other channels like Facebook Messenger or a social media post. Here’s how you can generate a form link:
- Click the “Send” button located in the upper-right corner of your screen.
- Switch to the “Link” tab (the middle icon).
- Check the option for “Shorten URL.”
- Hit the “Copy” button or shortcut keys Ctrl + C on Windows (Command + C for Mac).
Sending Through Email
If you need to gather responses from specific individuals, it’s recommended to send your Google Forms poll via email. This method works best when you have a mailing list handy. Follow these steps to get started:
- Go to the “Email” tab.
- Click the “To” field and enter the email addresses of your recipients.
- Enter a subject and message in the provided fields as needed.
- Click “Send” to send the email.
Embed Your Poll
You can also embed your poll on an existing webpage on your site. For example, you can add it to a blog and ask your readers’ thoughts about what they’ve read. Google Forms will give you an HTML tag that you can use. Here’s what you can do:
- Switch to the “Embed” tab.
- Adjust the width and height settings of your form.
- Click “Copy.”
- Alternatively, you can press Ctrl + C on your Windows keyboard (or Command + C for Mac).
Checking Your Poll Results
When you want to check the results of your poll, you can simply switch to the “Responses” tab in your Google form. The platform offers you three ways to view your results: a) Summary, b) Question, and c) Individual.
Since your poll will likely be in single-question form only, you should consider using the “Summary” tab. Here, you will see graphs and charts automatically generated by Google Forms based on the responses.
The other two options provide you with more detailed information per question or individual response.
Why Use Google Forms for Your Polls?
With so many poll-making tools out there, you might be wondering why you should use Google Forms over them. Here are a few key benefits that we’d like to highlight:
1. Google Forms Is a Widely Recognized Platform
Since practically every online user on Earth has a Google account, you can expect them to know how to use (or answer) a Google form. This familiarity ensures a higher likelihood of receiving the desired number of responses for your poll.
2. Easy Access
Respondents can conveniently view and answer your Google Forms poll on almost any device. For example, respondents can open your form link on their mobile phones or tablets, answering your poll from any location with internet connectivity.
3. User-Friendly Interface
As you’ve seen above, Google Forms has a very simple interface. While it certainly takes some time to learn, most of its functions are intuitive and clearly labeled. The sharing options, form results, and customization settings are designed to be user-friendly.
If you find it challenging to learn Google Forms from scratch, you can always refer to this guide to create your online poll quickly.
Other Tips to Follow When Making a Google Forms Poll
While creating your Google Forms poll is a straightforward process, there are additional considerations to remember. Here are four tips to enhance the effectiveness of your poll:
1. Keep It Short
Polls are very short (since they’re not surveys!). Keeping it short makes people more likely to answer it. Aim for a poll that takes no more than 5-10 minutes to complete, from opening the form to submitting it.
2. Use Closed-Ended Questions
Rather than vague questions (“What do you think about XYZ?”), use closed-ended questions in your Google polling tool. Questions should provide a limited number of answers, like multiple-choice or checkbox options
The answers here are easier to analyze and compare, and they’re also more uniform. Consider using the following question types in your Google Form:
- Multiple choice
- Linear scale
- Multiple choice grid
- Checkbox grid
You’ll probably find the “Linear scale” type unfamiliar on the list. Use it for a form question like “Rate this product from 1 to 10.” You can also use them for Likert scales, which help measure how much people agree or disagree with a certain statement.
Whichever you use among these question types, ensure the answer options cover all possible perspectives to avoid biased results.
3. Make Your Form Visually Appealing
Engaging your participants is the key to higher response rates. You can achieve this by making your form aesthetically appealing. Simply click the “Customize Theme” button (the painter icon) at the top of your form.
The “Theme” editor panel will appear on the side, allowing you to:
- Add a header image to your Google form
- Change your font settings, including the style and size
- Modify the colors of your form
4. Consider Making Your Poll Anonymous
Depending on your poll’s purpose, respondents may wish to remain anonymous. When dealing with more “personal” topics, anonymity can encourage more honest and uninhibited responses:
- Go to the “Settings” tab.
- Open the “Responses” drop-down.
- Select “Do not collect” in the “Collect email addresses” drop-down menu.
- Turn off “Allow response editing.”
- Turn off “Limit to 1 response.”
Note: Skip this tip if you want one response per user (to avoid duplicates and maintain accuracy).
Related: How To Make Google Forms Anonymous
Frequently Asked Questions
Do You Need a Google Account to Vote on Google Forms?
Some form owners may require their Google users to sign in first (for better tracking and verifiability), while casual polls may not need a Google account to participate.
Does Google Have a Polling Feature?
Yes. There are two Google polling tools that you can use: Meet and Forms. You can create a live poll during a video conference on Google Meet. As for the latter, you can simply set up a Form that asks your poll questions.
Whatever your reason, polls can provide valuable insights into people’s thoughts and opinions. If you’re interested in creating one, we hope our guide has shown you how to make a poll on Google Forms with ease!
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