bcc1234 - 6:05 pm on Sep 23, 2010 (gmt 0)
2 week commitment
I had this phone chat two days ago. The two week thing is not a strict requirement. The person I talked to simply asked me to implement the changes, let them run enough to gather enough stats and get back to her with any feedback I have. I guess they ask for it to make sure they are not wasting time with those consultations. After all, if you are not even going to try, then what's the point of discussing anything.
Overall, she made some suggestions, but nothing was forced upon me. So I wouldn't worry about having to comply.
As a matter of fact, I turned down a few of the suggestions outright because it would be too distracting for my users.
I run a forum with 80% repeat traffic, so possible backlash against an increase in ads is a real issue for me.
She seemed to understand and respect that user experience has to be taken into account. So no problems there either.
As for the actual suggestions, most of them were pretty much what you would expect: more ads above the fold, blend ads with the background, use palettes that match the link colors of your site, left-justify ads when possible, surround ad blocks with content, make sure image ads and third party networks are enabled, etc.
I can't say I heard anything new, but what the consultation made me do is get off my ass and actually play around with changes. Something I've been planning to do for a long time, but always put away for later.
As a result, I'm seeing a 30% increase in eCPM. Not sure if it will hold (probably will go down once the users get user to the new palettes/locations), but nevertheless, I would say this phone chat was worth having.