I’m an online marketing strategist, motivational leader, entrepreneur, trainer, speaker, author, and experienced bridge between marketing & technology. As an SEO practitioner since before SEO was a “thing,” I use logic, data, knowledge, experience, and a large slice of common sense to solve large site challenges, medium-sized site issues, and small site tweaks, to improve and grow the right traffic for business and organizational success.
I’ve led teams of 15+ search marketers, mentoring, inspiring, and teaching, and am proud to say many are working at large enterprises leading and mentoring their teams.
I’ve been in agency leadership positions where I have helped both the agency and their clients to realize organic traffic success, ensure processes are solid, client retention is optimized and teams are experiencing positive career growth.
I love to travel and explore, and my appreciation of other cultures and my home in the US comes from these explorations. I believe they are a foundational part of empathy, communication, and my positive attitude of gratitude.
I’ve been fortunate enough to present at search and marketing conferences around the globe, where I mix an appropriate amount of English humour, self-designed slides, engaging themes, and valuable takeaways to entertain and educate diverse audiences of advanced and beginner search marketers, SEOs, agency owners, and other marketing professionals. A smattering of those presentations can be found on Slideshare (and coming soon on Speaker Deck.)
My approach to work and life is simple:
“Success is simple. Do what’s right, the right way, at the right time.” – Arnold Glasgow
Looking for some ideas, SEO consulting, marketing strategy, or a different perspective on your online business?
I’m available for hourly consulting or retainer-based projects, contact me and let’s chat to see if there’s a mutually beneficial opportunity.
Training for Agencies or In-House Teams?
I’ve been fortunate enough to work in big agencies, run my own agency, help fix a few agencies, and be on the other side in-house working with agencies! I know agencies. I can look from a client or account management, or agency owner perspective to provide better (and often simpler) processes, better communications, or insightful deliverables that may be just what your agency or in-house team needs to work better together, to bridge a communications gap, improve customer retention, or break down a language barrier –> (me = agency<>client interpreter.)
If you think there may be something you need, a free 15 minutes chat will generally see if we’re a good fit and if I can help identify or resolve potential issues affecting agency health or growth.
Speaking to the Masses, Intimate Gatherings, or Your Most Important People
If you’re looking for an entertaining and informative presenter for your conference, internal meeting, or internal team on topics ranging from the latest Google updates to content that connects, ‘un-optimization’, entity-based search, big site SEO, client management, or other topics to inform, educate and/or entertain your audience, please reach out for a 15 mins chat and we can discuss fees or expenses, which are reasonable, especially so if on-location and that location is warm, friendly, and preferably international, (North America is also international-ish.. for me).
Want to cut to the chase? Book a 15 mins chat
Live and In-person?
I live in Virginia Beach, but am often traveling for work & pleasure. I may be in your neck of the woods speaking at a search or marketing event, and Twitter is generally the best way to find out where (or ping me and ask)! It’s always great to meet and chat with like-minded SEO marketers over a cuppa, help solve agency bottlenecks, or go sailing!
Connect with me:
- Twitter: @simmonet (I share thoughts, smart folk’s posts, and often live-tweet conferences!)
- Pinterest: simmonet (Rarely there, but some good memories)
- LinkedIn: simmonet (Interested in a business partnership or consulting? Visit me here)
- Instagram: Grantism (Should be here more, a lot of smart folks are sharing & making $ on the ‘Insta’)
- grantisms.com (My slice of quotes and thoughts on the web)
- Speaker Hub (for a collection of my presentations & notable mentions)
Grant Simmons Quick FAQ
Location of birth: London, England
Occupation: Online Marketing
Expertise: SEO Strategy, Search Strategy, Start-Up Strategy, SEO Consulting
Previous companies: Homes.com, The Search Agency, Diamond Resorts, Simmonet Marketing, TGIF Productions
Current home city: Virginia Beach
When I’m not on social media, I enjoy spending time at the beach – any beach – with my lovely wife or enjoying Summer breezes on a Hobie Cat or Laser sailboat.
I have a stepdaughter at middle school and two fantastic, smart & awesome kids in California who will someday change the world.
Selection of Interviews/speaking engagements/quotes/author profiles:
The Unscripted SEO Interview with Mark A Preston – Unedited and raw, Mark asks some interesting questions I answer honestly and with only minor stumbles to think!
Interview with Milosz Krasinski
The Key to Effortless Expectation Setting – Interview with Loren Baker of Search Engine Journal (Note: We went way off topic and I think it ended up better!)
CNBC interview 2012 on h(SEO) framework I developed at The Search Agency
“Search no longer just happens within the engine walls, and marketers need to keep up with the shift, or they’ll miss the chance to engage with a large portion of their audience. It’s crucial that we fully understand search intent to drive content development and deployment that will keep audiences engaged and informed, regardless of where they look for information on the web.”
Real Estate SEO Webinar with SEMRush. I talk about the importance of Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness (EAT) in Real Estate.
VCBuzz Internal Linking Webinar
Interview with Lori Ruff as Preview to SES 2013 on Webmaster Radio (starts @ 11m:30s)
Search Engine Journal Author Bio
Conductor Blog “Search, Social, So What?”
“It’s not hard to measure social’s effect – but it’s easy to underestimate its value.”
“Key to a successful search / social integration comes down to accessibility of data, frequency of communications and (mutually understood) shared goals.”
How Content Marketing is Changing – Search Engine Journal
“…the ability to know who my prospects most probably are, where they visit on the web and what kind of content they’re consuming, and it’s much easier to connect, converse and influence the consumer, because – if you know what they desire – you know them that much better!”
Content is King. Authority Content is Kingier
State of Digital article covering SMX London 2013
Search Engine Watch Author Bio
“Although we all (in SEO) strive for the perfect release of SEO improvements in a timely, scheduled (and time-sensitive) manner, we often face decisions requiring prioritization, justification, compromise, and communication skills to most efficiently optimize our client sites while navigating the minefield that is strewn with the politics, budget challenges and priorities of the business. (in-house folks can appreciate this as well!) Planning and setting expectations is key.”
I’ve been a Judge for search campaigns, agency awards, content, and digital campaigns in the US and around the globe. Amazing talent, and it’s an honor to assess and select some of the world’s best search, social & content campaigns.
US Search Awards Judge 2018 2019 2021 2022
Global Search Awards Judge
UK Search Awards Judge
European Search Awards Judge
US Search Agency Awards Judge 2022
Brighton SEO (The Batman SEO Toolbelt) – Audio
While I listened to Grant Simmons’ Batman-themed SEO tools lecture it struck me that this industry was not filled with experts who go to work just to pay the bills, no. This was a collective of passionate, highly creative artists who poured their hearts and souls into what they do. This isn’t a job for them, it’s not even a career; it’s life. And I couldn’t feel more at home.
It’s safe to say Grant Simmon’s talk inspired me the most. In case you don’t know, he is the VP of Homes.com with a career spanning more than 15 years in digital. He has held a number of senior positions at a number of reputable brands and is seen as a thought leader in the industry.
His seminar, The Batman SEO toolbelt to vanquish Google’s SERP, certainly lived up to expectations. Gliding side to side on the stage and bursting with energy, he discussed the various tools that would make life easier. Be it web scraping tools through various CRM tools, it was all very helpful!
Podcast: How to Stand out Using SEO and SEM
Chiang Mai SEO Conference 2019
Rock Solid SEO. Big Ideas. Big Challenges. Massive Solutions.
Working for clients including FoxSports, Red Bull, Warner Bros, and Paramount Pictures, Grant Simmons has seen search engine and SEO tactics come and go. In this session, he’ll explore some of the lessons learned from the organization, optimization, and content and link strategies that large sites demand. This will help you mitigate some of the onerous sides of SEO circa 2019 to build a rock-solid strategy—with a little Hollywood magic built in.
Humantics – Advanced Search Summit Napa 2021
- Kansas City
- Washington DC
Keywords Are Dead! Long Live User Intent! Search Engine Watch 2013
“Your brand’s website and online presence need to align around targeted customer intent(s), not traditional keywords-focused optimization,” notes Grant Simmons in a 2013 Search Engine Watch post. “Focus toward tactics that will play to Google’s more complex side: Mapping queries to actions, intent research, and aligned content creation.”
“Grant Simmons, Director of SEO and Social Product at The Search Agency, writes in Search Engine Watch that keywords are dead, and the era of focusing on user intent has begun.
Simmons points to “Google’s Penguin and Panda updates as the nails in the coffin for over-optimized content and link profiles,” and suggests that those two changes have “contributed to considerable change in SEO tactics and strategies over the past 18 months.” He argues that the “old interpretation of keywords is no longer true,” and that “users are not typing simple keywords that yield simple Google results.”
Instead, searchers use “queries,” which are “phrases that match specific search intent,” and Google “attempts to match that intent based on search data, click data, and heuristics” in an effort to provide more relevant results.”
Skyword: As Grant Simmons writes for Search Engine Watch, “Keywords are dead! Long live user intent!” “The old interpretation of keywords is no longer true; users are not typing simple keywords that yield simple Google results,” Simmons writes. “Users are entering “queries”-phrases that match specific search intent-and Google attempts to match that intent based on search data, click data, and heuristics, and then serves richer (and hopefully more relevant) intent-based results: Knowledge graph “instant results” for people, places, and things; local results; Google Autocomplete; Google spelling correction; product listings or shopping for buying signals; and dictionary results for “definition-based” queries. Your brand’s website and online presence need to align around targeted customer intent(s), not traditional keywords-focused optimization.”
InLinks (part-time) – US Ambassador helping promote *the* Entity SEO Tool to SEOs throughout the United States through thought leadership, demonstrations, consulting, & conversation (hiring press release)
Owner and resident SEO at Brilliant Strategy (a domain I grabbed before I knew I would use it!)
Fractional SEO Strategist – Healthcare Success
Fractional Director of SEO – ClickFluent Consulting
Fractional SEO Strategist – Kitely Tech
Homes.com (now a division of The CoStar Group) (hiring press release)
Led a team of multi-disciplinary search, social, and paid specialists to exceed goals and targets in multi-6-figure budgets.
The Search Agency – since purchased by Forward PMX – where I drove the SEO and Social strategies for a group of very smart peers. Led teams providing search solutions for companies you would have heard of, from big Big Box Stores to car manufacturers, Japanese computer enterprises, sports tv networks, and the drink that gives you wings.
Diamond Resorts – where I helped develop their web presence and ensure brand alignment across 80+ resorts globally
Simmonet Marketing – excuse the early 2000’s site.. it was built in the early 2000s 🙂 – grew from an idea into a service for multinational and local organizations – mainly through web design, development, SEO, branding, video, and meetings. “Ideas that work. Technology that fits.”
TGIF Productions – handled large corporate meetings, media, and multimedia, dipped into early web content for GE, M&M/Mars, Kwikset, and other multinational businesses.
Club Med – Taught sailing and entertained guests at nightly shows while learning about customer service and appreciation of culture in Mexico, French West Indies, Greece, Italy, Israel, Bahamas, and more! Fun times. And some great people I still call friends.
Instant Estimator / Instant Evaluator / Diminifaq – Advisor to the CEO of national claims processing company – focused on the automotive and parking space.
Bradwell Sailing Centre – Where I taught folks who had never seen the water how to sail, love and respect the water!
“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” – William Arthur Ward
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
“I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving – we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it – but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
“The cure for anything is saltwater – sweat, tears, or the sea.” – Isak Dinesen
“A ship in the harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.” – William Shedd
“To desire nothing beyond what you have is surely happiness. Aboard a boat, it is frequently possible to achieve just that. That is why sailing is way of life, one of the finest of lives.” – Carleton Mitchell
“Only two sailors, in my experience, never ran aground. One never left port and the other was an atrocious liar.” – Don Bamford
“A sailor without a destination cannot hope for a favorable wind.” – Grantism 🙂
Thanks for getting this far! Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn or any platform you prefer, and let’s chat about business opportunities, consulting work, or just shoot the breeze about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness!
Find Grant Simmons (me) on Google 🙂
Hi Grant….I have been reading your “rants” on thesearchagency.com. I tried filling out a form..got an email back from Alec Green….replied and got a I no longer work here…thought it was amusing that everyone that fills out a form gets and email from a guy that no longer works there. But, I digress. I really enjoyed reading your material. I am working on our new website launch and am looking for someone who KNOWS social media. I am convinced (mea culpa Google) how important G+ and Facebook are for SEO. Looking for someone to work with or someone to point me in the right direction….thanks for your response in advance.
Hi Grant. I was on Corfu Ipsos at club med summer of 1968. I remember Michel, the head of sailing, we all hopped aboard a ‘caique’ and sailed to Albania for the day!
Shopping in Corfu, a trip to Delphi, it was all delightful. I miss my ride back and stayed an extra week, returned to Paris via motorcycle. I loved it the people were all so friendly. My room-mate in my caisse was a great gal from Paris! Remember the kind of ‘nightclub’? What great fun!
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