Software and Technology

SurveyMonkey: Powering search for international audiences


  • 3M
    survey responses processed daily
  • 12
    localized languages


Using Elastic Site Search (formerly Swiftype Site Search), SurveyMonkey completely customized their search engine to show the most relevant results for each user’s question.

For a global company delivering content in local language is key and with Elastic Site Search, SurveyMonkey is able to provide localized search across 12 languages for international audiences.


SurveyMonkey reviews Elastic Site Search dashboards every week to shape support content strategy.

Company Overview

SurveyMonkey is the world's leading online survey platform, with more than 3 million survey responses every day being captured on their tool. SurveyMonkey has revolutionized the way people give and take feedback, making it accessible, simple, and affordable for everyone.

SurveyMonkey’s Journey with Elastic

Before switching from their help center's native search to Elastic Site Search, the SurveyMonkey support team was frustrated by a search solution that offered little to no control over what pages were discoverable and what results appeared for a given search term. As the content creation team added or deleted pages to the help center, search results lagged behind, creating false results that led to non-existent pages or failing to surface important new content. On a more granular level, SurveyMonkey had no control over what results appeared for a given search term, leaving them guessing at what content they should create to improve search results for their most common search terms. Additionally, the SurveyMonkey support team needed a way to customize search results for every audience across their international user base.


To resolve these ongoing issues, SurveyMonkey made the switch to Elastic Site Search, and after one day of development work, they had 12 new search engines set up — one for each of their international audiences.

With Elastic Site Search in place, the entire SurveyMonkey team can now completely customize search through the dashboard and instantly see results update on the help center. When talking about the benefits of this level of control, Content Strategist Lizzie Burns says, "an algorithm can only take you so far, and you need that human touch to get really curated results."

With Custom Result Ranking, the support team can drag-and-drop search results on a query-by-query basis, add in new results that don't appear by default, or hide results that they don't want to display. This degree of control is invaluable for the SurveyMonkey team, and as a result, they use Custom Result Ranking on a daily basis. In addition, SurveyMonkey uses the Weights tool to precisely control how different sections of their articles influence the order of search results.


With a unique search engine for each of their localized help centers, the SurveyMonkey support team can customize search results for each international audience. In this realm, the Synonyms tool is particularly useful. The SurveyMonkey team creates unique synonym sets for each language, ensuring that common issues of vernacular and variations in spelling don't prevent users from finding the help they need (for example, synchronizing results for "survey" and "questionnaire," which is a common search term among UK and Canadian customers).

On a weekly basis, the SurveyMonkey team uses the detailed analytics provided by Elastic Site Search to provide a summary email that they use to inform their search result customization and content creation strategy. Those weekly analytics emails serve as the starting point for content strategy discussions, with the team looking at both top searches and top searches with no results, which help them identify areas where new content can be created. Before Elastic Site Search, the team could see top searches, but as Content Strategist Deanna Horton describes it, "we were kind of helpless in terms of what would appear for those searches." This left the content team guessing at what new content they should create to influence search results. By comparison, the team can now log in to Elastic Site Search and "drag-and-drop the results to the exact order we want in a matter of seconds."

Today, SurveyMonkey's support team has complete control over their search, ensuring customers can quickly and easily find the help they need.