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Board games to make you an SEO superstar

By Ashley John - Digital Marketing Consultant.

Dixit, photo courtesy of farusantos via Flickr

When you work in digital marketing and SEO like we do at Orantec, your life revolves around the Internet, whether it's checking keywords, updating social media, or just keeping up-to-date with the latest Google updates. There's so much to do that it's easy to forget to take a break away from the computer screen every now and again.

Today, we are going to help you make the most of your free time with board games! Not only are these games much more interesting than Monopoly and Cluedo – while involving less shouting at your friends and family - they also teach you valuable skills that can be utilised online, which will be perfect for your next big marketing project!

Imagination: Dixit

Dixit is a game which requires you to use an equal balance of imagination and caution. You must use a word or sound to describe an abstract image on a card, and everyone else will choose a card that they think matches that word. The aim of the game is to be creative enough to make guessing the correct answer a challenge, while making sure some people do find the answer – you don’t want to be too abstract. Sounds easy? It should be if you can use your imagination and infer the thought-process of everybody else around the table!

Salesmanship: Snake Oil

While working in SEO and marketing I have been able to write copy that’s attractive and exciting to read, as I like writing content that draws in readers. That said, you’d think I’d be better at Snake Oil!

One player takes the roll of customer, which could be anything from a caveman to a cheerleader while the other players draw two cards to create an item, in order to then sell it to the customer. Can you successfully sell a Whistle Broom to an astronaut? If you can, then you’ll probably do well as a copywriter.

Carcassonne, photo courtesy of elpadawan via Flickr

Strategy: Carcassonne

At first glance, Carcassonne looks like a small game where you are tasked with building the eponymous French citadel. In reality, Carcassonne is a game about strategy, facing the odds and risk-reward; it is a game that forces you to make tough decisions. It also features cute little wooden figures called meeples.

Taking risks can provide the most rewarding conclusions, and that is as true of a role in SEO and marketing as it is in Carcassonne.

Team-work: Pandemic

If you don’t work as a team, the world is literally going to succumb to four diseases and be destroyed, and it’s all your fault! While the average marketer may never face a situation like the one I just outlined, a fantastic SEO team can bounce off one another using each other’s strengths and weaknesses in the best possible way.

The same is true in Pandemic, a game in which you are fighting against the odds to prevent four diseases from wiping out the world’s population. To succeed you’ll need fantastic team communication, trust and work with everybody’s skill sets. After a game of Pandemic, SEO teams will work closer than ever before.

Relationship building: The Resistance

In the introduction I said most of these games wouldn’t involve you arguing with your family. Since there is always an exception to the rule, here it is The Resistance, which will sow mistrust, create strife and let you pretend to be spies!

The Resistance is a game of secret identities; you and up to 9 friends will be the Resistance, a movement trying to overthrow a shadowy government, however a few of your friends will be spies whose job it is to bring down the anti-government movement. With no one really knowing whose allegiances lie where, a game of The Resistance ends in bickering and accusations, but if you can convince everybody else you’re not a spy (whether you are or not) then you’ll be able to earn anybody’s trust.

Planning: Galaxy Trucker

Galaxy Trucker, photo courtesy of spilt-milk via FlickrSure, planning is easy when given enough time, but are you able to adapt your plan at a minute’s notice? Are you capable of making quick changes to your fully thought-out plan when a hitch appears? If not, SEO can sometimes be a struggle, but fear not as Galaxy Trucker is here to polish up your skills.

Using one hand you must pick up cards and construct the most sound space ship (the galaxy truck from which the games takes its name) possible. It’s an ordeal more stressful than can be truly conveyed in writing, but you’ll be able to make the most flawless ship possible, won’t you? Of course you will! No meteors or open space will destr… oh no, why did I put that piece there?

Coffee: Cappuccino

The rules of Cappuccino are the same as those to be a successful online marketer: the person with the most coffee wins, because there’s no way you’ll have the energy to play the above games if you haven’t had your caffeine fix!

I now call to everybody working in SEO and marketing: leave your computer and tablets for an hour and play some board games, it definitely won’t be time wasted! You can always tweet us about who won once you’ve finished. If you get caught-up playing board games and are looking for a team of passionate digital marketers that want to make your business stand out from the crowd then don’t hesitate to contact us.

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