Business & Productivity

SurveyMonkey vs. Google Forms: Which Should You Use?

Avetis Grigoryan
Senior Developer
December 14, 2023
A low-code platform blending no-code simplicity with full-code power
Get started free
Table of contents

Say no to chaotic work. Automate your tasks now.

Key takeaways:
When deciding between SurveyMonkey and Google Forms, consider your specific needs: SurveyMonkey offers advanced analytical tools and customization options, making it ideal for in-depth surveys and market research, while Google Forms stands out for its simplicity, ease of use, and seamless integration with other Google Workspace tools, suitable for straightforward surveys and quick feedback collection. Your choice ultimately depends on the complexity of your survey requirements and your preference for integration with existing software ecosystems.

In an era where data reigns supreme, Surveymonkey and Google Forms stand out as leading survey tools, each offering unique features for survey creation, data collection, and the ability to view responses within their app. Users can efficiently plan their surveys with intuitive interfaces these platforms provide. Selecting the right survey software platform can significantly impact the efficiency of gathering actionable insights through an app. This post delves into a detailed comparison between these two popular online form builders, scrutinizing their capabilities from question types to overall usability, with a focus on their performance as survey software and app integration. Weighing SurveyMonkey's robust survey app software against Google Forms' streamlined app form builder will equip you with the knowledge to make an informed decision tailored to your data collection needs.

Background Overview of Survey Platforms

Online surveys, created with an intuitive form builder, have revolutionized data collection, making it an indispensable tool for decision-making. Let's explore the journey from paper-based questionnaires to the sophisticated digital platforms we use today.

Historical Development

Surveys have come a long way since their inception. Initially, researchers and businesses relied on paper-based methods to gather information. This process, without the use of an online form builder, was not only time-consuming but also prone to errors due to manual data entry and analysis. The advent of computers brought significant improvements, leading to the first electronic surveys which were sent via email or hosted on early internet platforms.

As technology advanced, specialized online survey platforms emerged. These online form builder tools offered users a more streamlined approach to creating, distributing, and analyzing surveys. They provided form templates, question libraries, and drag-and-drop interfaces that made survey form creation accessible even to those with little technical expertise.

Digital Surveys Evolution

The transition from paper to digital survey forms marked a pivotal moment in research methodology. Digitalization in its various forms allowed for quicker distribution across wider geographic locations at a fraction of the cost compared to traditional methods. Online survey tools started incorporating features like automatic data capture and form-based inputs, which significantly reduced the turnaround time for insights generation with real-time analytics.

This evolution also introduced new levels of form customization and interactivity within survey forms. Respondents could now engage with various types of questions such as multiple-choice, sliders, or ranking options that weren't possible on paper forms without extensive manual effort.

Surveys in Decision-Making

In our data-driven world, survey forms are key players in shaping strategies across industries. They provide a valuable form of insights into customer preferences, employee satisfaction, market trends, and much more. Organizations rely on this feedback mechanism not just for academic research but also for practical business applications like product development and performance evaluation.

The ability to make informed decisions based on quantifiable data has transformed how companies operate and compete in their markets. Businesses that leverage survey findings in the form of actionable data can tailor their offerings more precisely to meet consumer demands or address internal challenges promptly.

Comparative Analysis of Features and Functionality

Choosing the right survey tool is crucial for form data collection. Both SurveyMonkey and Google Forms offer unique features, but a closer look at their functionalities can help determine which suits your needs better.

Feature Comparison

SurveyMonkey and Google Forms provide basic features like multiple question types and customization options. However, SurveyMonkey offers more advanced question types and design capabilities. For instance, users can choose from various question formats such as multiple-choice, open-ended, or matrix-type questions in both platforms. Yet, SurveyMonkey allows for more complex survey designs with enhanced logic paths that guide respondents based on previous answers.

Customization is another point of comparison where SurveyMonkey shines with its wide range of color schemes and the ability to add images and logos to surveys. This contrasts with Google Forms' more basic customization options which are limited in terms of design but still allow for some level of personalization through color themes and the addition of images.

Logic paths are integral for creating dynamic surveys that adapt to user responses. Here again, SurveyMonkey takes the lead with its sophisticated branching capabilities that direct participants along different routes depending on their answers. Google Forms does include conditional logic features in its free version but they are less extensive than those offered by SurveyMonkey's paid versions.

Integration Capabilities

Both platforms allow integration with other software, enhancing their utility. Google Forms naturally integrates seamlessly with other Google applications like Sheets for real-time analytics and Docs for report generation. It also works well within the Google Workspace environment which is beneficial for teams already using these services.

SurveyMonkey boasts its own set of integrations including Salesforce for CRM purposes, Eventbrite for event management, and even WordPress websites through plugins. These integrations make it a versatile tool capable of fitting into various workflows beyond just the Google ecosystem.

Mobile Responsiveness

In today's mobile-first world, having a survey platform that performs well on smartphones is a must-have feature. Both platforms offer mobile-responsive designs ensuring surveys look good and function properly across devices without requiring any additional configuration from the creator's part.

Offline access options differentiate these two platforms significantly. While SurveyMonkey provides an offline mode allowing respondents to complete surveys without an internet connection – a useful feature in remote areas or when dealing with unreliable networks – Google Forms lacks this capability entirely.

Feature SurveyMonkey Google Forms
Question Types Advanced question types and design capabilities Multiple question types, but less advanced
Customization Wide range of color schemes, images, and logos Basic customization with color themes and images
Logic Paths Sophisticated branching capabilities Conditional logic features but less extensive
Integration Integrations with Salesforce, Eventbrite, WordPress, etc. Seamless integration with Google Workspace
Mobile Responsiveness Mobile-responsive design Mobile-responsive design
Offline Access Offline mode available No offline mode

Assessing User-Friendliness and Flexibility

In the realm of online survey tools, ease of use for novices and customization for seasoned users are crucial. Templates and design options further enhance these platforms' appeal.

Interface Intuitiveness

SurveyMonkey and Google Forms cater to different user experiences. Beginners find Google Forms a simple tool, with its straightforward design leading to quick form creation. The app offers a minimalistic approach that reduces the time taken to learn its functions. On the other hand, SurveyMonkey provides an intuitive interface with slightly more advanced features that may require a bit more time to master but offer greater capabilities in survey design.

Customization Levels

Advanced users often seek robust customization options. SurveyMonkey stands out with its extensive range of question types and logic paths, catering well to enterprise needs or detailed market research. It allows users to tailor surveys extensively, accommodating complex requirements. Google Forms is less flexible in this regard but still offers a decent level of customization suitable for small business applications or personal use.

Templates and Design

Both platforms provide templates that expedite the creation process:

  • SurveyMonkey:
  • A vast library of pre-designed templates.
  • AI-powered suggestions tailored to your survey's purpose.
  • Options for branding alignment with corporate identity.
  • Google Forms:
  • Basic templates for quick deployment.
  • Customizable themes allowing some degree of personal touch.
  • Free access which includes standard design features.

The number of available designs is substantially higher in SurveyMonkey compared to Google Forms, which keeps things more basic but user-friendly.

Data Collection and Analysis Tools Comparison

SurveyMonkey and Google Forms both offer unique capabilities for data collection and analysis. This comparison will focus on the methods they support, their analytical features, and how they handle data export and portability.

Types of Data Supported

SurveyMonkey excels in providing a wide variety of question types. Users can create complex surveys with branching logic, where subsequent questions depend on previous answers. This tool supports multiple-choice, open-ended text responses, dropdowns, matrix questions, and more.

Google Forms also offers various question types but is more limited compared to SurveyMonkey. It includes checkboxes, short or long text responses, linear scales, and multiple-choice grids. However, it lacks advanced survey logic which may be critical for detailed data collection.

Analytical Features

Real-time results are vital for timely decision-making. Both platforms provide this feature but in different capacities. SurveyMonkey offers robust real-time analytics that include data trends over time and respondent demographics. Automated reports can be customized extensively with charts, graphs, and insights.

Google Forms provides basic real-time response information directly within the platform or through linked Google Sheets. Automated reporting is less sophisticated than SurveyMonkey's but still allows users to see summaries of collected data through simple visualizations.

Export Formats

Data portability is crucial when working across different systems or sharing findings with stakeholders. SurveyMonkey supports a range of export formats such as CSV, XLSX (Excel), PDF for individual responses or summary data reports which facilitates easy sharing and integration with other tools.

Google Forms primarily uses Google Sheets for response storage which can then be exported into CSV format or connected to other Google Workspace apps like Docs or Slides. While convenient within the Google ecosystem, it may require additional steps when integrating with non-Google products.

Pricing and Plans for SurveyMonkey and Google Forms

In the realm of data collection, the choice between SurveyMonkey and Google Forms often hinges on their pricing structures. Both offer free tiers with varying limitations, while their premium plans cater to different user needs.

Free Tier Limitations

SurveyMonkey provides a basic free plan that allows users to create simple surveys. However, this plan comes with restrictions such as a limit on the number of questions per survey and responses you can collect. Users also miss out on advanced features like logic branching or data export options.

Google Forms, in contrast, offers a completely free tool integrated within the Google Workspace. It includes unlimited forms and responses without any cost. Users benefit from seamless integration with Google Sheets, making it easy to analyze data without additional expense.

Premium Plan Benefits

For those requiring more sophisticated capabilities, both platforms provide paid subscriptions. SurveyMonkey's premium plans unlock features such as unlimited questions and responses, advanced analytics, custom branding, and 24/7 customer support.

Google Forms does not have a standalone premium version but being part of Google Workspace means access to enhanced functionalities across all Google apps. Upgrading to a paid Google Workspace account enhances storage capacity and security features which indirectly benefits Forms users.

Cost-Effectiveness Scale

Cost-effectiveness varies depending on usage scale. Small-scale users or individuals might find Google Forms more appealing due to its non-existent price tag for core functionalities.

Businesses or researchers conducting extensive surveys may consider SurveyMonkey's paid plans more beneficial despite the higher cost because of its specialized survey features and robust analysis tools that can handle large volumes of data efficiently.

Subscription Models

SurveyMonkey operates on a subscription model with monthly or annual payment options. The platform occasionally updates its pricing structure; hence users should stay informed to avoid unexpected charges.

Google Forms remains free but leveraging advanced features requires subscribing to Google Workspace. This subscription encompasses several other tools beyond form builders which may influence overall value perception.

Hidden Costs

It's crucial to be aware of potential hidden costs associated with both platforms. With SurveyMonkey, costs can escalate quickly if additional responses are needed beyond what's included in your plan.

For Google Forms users within an organization, upgrading to a higher-tier Google Workspace plan for broader app functionality could inadvertently increase costs even if Form usage remains unchanged.

Aspect SurveyMonkey Google Forms
Free Tier Limitations Basic plan with limits on questions per survey and responses, no advanced features like logic branching Completely free, unlimited forms and responses, integration with Google Sheets
Premium Plan Benefits Unlimited questions and responses, advanced analytics, custom branding, 24/7 support Enhanced functionalities with Google Workspace subscription, including storage and security
Cost-Effectiveness More beneficial for extensive surveys and large data volumes Ideal for small-scale users due to no cost for core functionalities
Subscription Models Subscription model with monthly or annual payment options Free, but advanced features require Google Workspace subscription
Hidden Costs Costs can escalate quickly for additional responses Upgrading to higher-tier Google Workspace plans increases costs

Pros and Cons for Informed Decision-Making

Choosing between SurveyMonkey and Google Forms involves weighing extensive features against simplicity. It also requires understanding each platform's limitations and the reliability of their support services.

Advantages of Features

SurveyMonkey offers a rich set of features that cater to various survey needs. Users can access advanced question types, branching logic, and customization options that enhance the survey experience. This makes it an ideal choice for complex surveys where depth and detail are crucial.

For instance, businesses can tailor their surveys extensively using SurveyMonkey's tools to get precise data. These advanced features facilitate detailed analysis, which is essential for informed decision-making.

On the other hand, Google Forms stands out for its simplicity and ease of use. Its clean interface allows users to quickly create basic surveys without a steep learning curve. This is particularly advantageous for individuals or organizations needing straightforward feedback mechanisms with minimal setup time.

Educational institutions often favor Google Forms due to its integration with other Google Workspace tools. It simplifies gathering information from students or organizing events within the school community.

Limitations in Options

Both platforms have their own set of limitations that might affect user choices. SurveyMonkey has respondent limits on its free plan which may not suit large-scale surveys without a paid subscription. Certain question types are reserved for premium users, potentially limiting the scope of research possible at no cost.

Google Forms provides unlimited questions and responses even in its free version, which is a significant advantage for large-scale data collection on a budget. However, it lacks some of the sophisticated question types available in SurveyMonkey like matrix questions or file uploads which could be pivotal depending on your survey objectives.

Reliability and Support

The reliability of both platforms is generally high; however, they differ in support services offered to users. SurveyMonkey has earned praise for its customer service and extensive help center full of guides and tutorials—beneficial when tackling complex survey designs or technical issues.

Businesses requiring consistent support may find comfort in knowing there's assistance available from SurveyMonkey's team. This level of service can be crucial when conducting important research where timely resolution of problems matters.

Google Forms benefits from being part of the larger Google infrastructure known for stability but typically offers less direct customer service compared to dedicated survey platforms like SurveyMonkey.

Target Audiences and Platform Suitability

Choosing between SurveyMonkey and Google Forms hinges on understanding the ideal scenarios for each platform. It's essential to consider the type of organization, audience size, and complexity of data collection needs.

Ideal User Scenarios

SurveyMonkey excels in providing advanced features suitable for market research and detailed feedback collection. Its sophisticated tools are designed for users who require depth in their surveys, such as conditional logic that tailors questions based on previous answers. In contrast, Google Forms is a straightforward solution perfect for quick polls or simple questionnaires where elaborate setup isn't necessary.

Businesses may favor SurveyMonkey for its robust analytics and team plans that support collaboration on survey projects. Educational institutions might lean towards Google Forms for its seamless integration with other Google Workspace tools like Sheets and Classroom, facilitating easy sharing among educators and students.

Non-profit organizations often operate under budget constraints; hence Google Forms can be an attractive option due to its free usage. Conversely, when non-profits seek to engage in extensive outreach or data analysis, they might find SurveyMonkey's paid features more beneficial.

Business Sector Suitability

For businesses aiming at comprehensive market analysis or customer satisfaction studies, SurveyMonkey provides a suite of professional tools. These include custom branding options, A/B testing capabilities, and advanced data analytics which are crucial for deriving actionable insights from survey results.

Small businesses or startups may appreciate the cost-effectiveness of Google Forms alongside its simplicity in design and deployment. Larger enterprises might opt for SurveyMonkey's team plans that offer collaborative features enabling multiple users to design, distribute, and analyze surveys collectively.

Educational Sector Suitability

In educational settings where teachers need to create quizzes or collect class feedback quickly, Google Forms is highly suitable due to its user-friendly interface. It allows automatic grading of responses which can save educators significant time.

However, if an educational institution requires more nuanced survey functionality like randomized question order or skip logic to tailor assessments more closely to individual learning paths, then SurveyMonkey could be the better choice despite being a paid service.

Non-Profit Sector Suitability

Non-profits conducting simple feedback collection will find Google Forms sufficient and budget-friendly. For those engaging in extensive research projects requiring detailed reports and analytics capabilities – perhaps tracking donor engagement over time – SurveyMonkey stands out as the superior tool despite the associated costs.

Evaluating User Reviews and Ratings

User reviews and ratings are crucial for understanding the satisfaction level of SurveyMonkey vs. Google Forms users. They highlight the strengths and weaknesses of each platform from a user perspective.

Overall Satisfaction Trends

Users often turn to platforms like SurveyMonkey or Google Forms to create surveys and gather data efficiently. Analyzing overall satisfaction trends reveals valuable insights into which tool might be more beneficial for specific needs.

SurveyMonkey generally receives high marks for its robust feature set and customization options. Users appreciate the variety of question types, advanced analytics, and third-party integrations available. However, some mention that these features come at a higher cost compared to other survey tools.

Google Forms is frequently praised for its simplicity and integration with other Google services like Sheets and Drive. It's particularly popular among users who require straightforward surveys without advanced features. The fact that it's free adds to its appeal, especially for individuals or small organizations on a tight budget.

Long-term users have provided feedback that offers a deeper look into each platform's performance over time.

Praises From Long-Term Users

Long-term users provide invaluable feedback as they have experienced the evolution of these platforms firsthand.

For SurveyMonkey:

  • Advanced survey design capabilities
  • Detailed reporting tools
  • Responsive customer support

For Google Forms:

  • User-friendly interface
  • Seamless integration with Google Workspace
  • No-cost access to basic features

These points suggest that long-term commitment to either platform can yield positive experiences depending on user requirements.

Complaints From Long-Term Users

No service is without its drawbacks, as evidenced by some common complaints from long-term users.

Concerning SurveyMonkey:

  • Pricing can be prohibitive for some budgets
  • Complexity may overwhelm new users
  • Occasional issues with survey delivery and response tracking

In terms of Google Forms:

  • Limited customization options compared to competitors
  • Basic analytics features may not suffice for complex analysis needs
  • Dependence on internet connectivity as there's no offline mode

Understanding these criticisms is essential when choosing between SurveyMonkey and Google Forms.

Trustworthiness of Review Sources

The credibility of review sources cannot be overstated when evaluating user opinions about tech products like SurveyMonkey and Google Forms.

Trusted sources include:

  1. Product review websites with verified user comments.
  2. Industry blogs providing in-depth analyses.
  3. Forums where real users share genuine experiences.
  4. Social media feedback reflecting immediate user reactions.

Final Considerations for Choosing the Right Platform

Choosing between SurveyMonkey and Google Forms requires aligning their strengths with your project's goals. It also involves considering scalability, legal compliance, and privacy.

Aligning Platform Strengths

SurveyMonkey and Google Forms offer distinct advantages depending on the project's requirements. The choice hinges on the specific features you need. For instance, if advanced analytics are critical to your project, SurveyMonkey might be the top option due to its robust data analysis tools.

On the other hand, for straightforward surveys with a need for seamless integration with other Google services, Google Forms is an excellent choice. It allows easy sharing among collaborators who are already using Google Workspace.

Scalability and Future-Proofing

Scalability should be a key factor in your decision-making process. As projects grow or evolve, so too must the tools you use.

Google Forms is generally seen as less scalable than SurveyMonkey. However, it remains a viable option for those who anticipate only moderate growth and prefer not to invest heavily in more sophisticated platforms.

In contrast, SurveyMonkey offers greater scalability through its various paid plans which can accommodate an increasing number of survey respondents and more complex data collection needs over time.

Legal Compliance and Privacy

Legal compliance and privacy are crucial considerations in today’s digital landscape. Both platforms have measures in place to protect user data but differ in their approaches and certifications.

SurveyMonkey complies with international standards such as ISO/IEC 27001 and offers features like GDPR compliance tools that may make it preferable for projects requiring strict adherence to privacy laws.

Google Forms also maintains a high standard of security being part of Google Cloud's offerings which include advanced protection programs. Nonetheless, organizations concerned with specific regulatory requirements should conduct thorough research into both platforms' compliance credentials before making a decision.

Conclusion and Recommendations

SurveyMonkey and Google Forms serve distinct needs and audiences, with their own sets of features, pricing, and user experiences. SurveyMonkey's advanced tools cater to in-depth data analysis and professional survey design, making it suitable for businesses requiring detailed reporting and customization. Google Forms, on the other hand, offers a straightforward, cost-effective solution ideal for educators and individuals seeking simplicity and integration with the Google ecosystem. Decision-makers should weigh these factors against their specific needs to select the most appropriate platform.

For a nuanced approach to data collection and analysis, consider engaging with both SurveyMonkey and Google Forms before finalizing your choice. Explore their capabilities firsthand to ensure the tool aligns with your objectives. We encourage readers to leverage the insights provided to make an informed decision that enhances data-driven strategies within their organizations. Additionally, for more in-depth guidance and comparative insights, turn to Latenode. Their resources and expert analyses can help you delve deeper into the functionalities of these platforms, aiding you in choosing the tool that best fits your organizational needs and enhances your data collection processes.

Related articles:

Related Blogs