Do you want to grow in turnover because you are better found online? Then take on the challenge with our (top) team of 24 specialists. Because our mission is to use the secret of Google to help you find your next customer. Do not expect easy solutions or smooth sales pitches, but do expect commitment, a long breath and real results. The journey – because it is – always starts with a 12-month forecast, so you know exactly what you're investing in.
It all starts in 1999 when founder Hein van Vlastuin starts a small business in his garage. Hein develops software and Microsoft is still cool, so the name 'Heinosoft' was quickly coined. When Hein then moves to Peru, eldest brother Arjan comes into the picture. He takes over the company. The adventure begins from his Delft student room. The first employee is his youngest (then still in compulsory education) brother of 14, Geerten. Not much later brother Andries also joins and the ball starts to roll.
The great mission of the three brothers comes their way by accident. One day the first big customer (trappen.net) comes with the wish to be found better via the online search engine Ilse – who remembers her? The men soon discover that this is actually very simple: Add as many search terms as possible to your page and you will be at the top of Ilse. Annoying to the visitor, so they put the words in the same color as the background so that they are invisible to the unsuspecting clicker.
The brothers do this by using the fastest internet in the Netherlands at that time. They work from the TU Delft library, where Arjan is currently studying. A great and affordable (read: free) workplace. Business is going well, so a number of programmers (read: students) are joining. In short, they are having a good time.
But then comes Google
Google overtakes all search engines right and left. Mainly thanks to a revolutionary idea from founders (and students!) Larry Page and Sergey Brin: PageRank. The more often you are linked to from other sites and the more important those pages are, the higher you come in the search results. Suddenly the journey to the top of the search engine is all about three things: links, links and links.
But the brothers and their friends are not easy to catch. So upMention - the company formerly known as Heinosoft - is fully committed to increasing the number of strong links to customers. This is the time of the unprecedented success of the Home Pages – who remembers them?! It is therefore important that links to customers appear on various Home pages. However, the men go one step further. They build Startpagina's themselves, such as trap.startpagina.nl (which still exists!), where of course they put their own customer at the top - with the famous 'tip' behind it.
upMention is growing fast, extra hands are needed and so Africa comes into the picture. It may not sound logical, but brother Andries owns a tree nursery in Kenya. This gave the brothers the idea of recruiting technical specialists in Africa and setting up a second branch of upMention there – unimpeded by any international experience. It works and two Kenyans, Richard and Risper, join the management. A refreshing addition to the three cheese heads.
The secret of Google
Two decades after its inception, the three brothers and their friends at upMention are getting closer and closer to Google's holy grail. The two most important ingredients for sustainable success on Google?
It's all about connections. That goes way beyond creating links on other pages. Perfecting (SEO) your website, following and measuring the strategy and ensuring that the various parties (including you as a customer) do the right things. Making it to the top three in Google on a structural basis is a matter of in-depth cooperation, of the best possible connections.
Know what you are getting into as an upMention customer! There are customers who call the brothers every week with the question: 'why am I not yet at the top of Google!?' Or take a manufacturer of garden products. Several times he shouted: 'I'll stop!' Several entrepreneurs in his environment had asked him whether he had gone mad, because he had been investing for half a year without visible results.
Being structurally successful with Google is a matter of the long haul. And therefore trust. Above all, trust in another important element of the upMention story: the brothers and their friends do everything for the success of the customer. The bigger the challenge, the bigger the smile on their face.
By the way, after 9 months that man from the garden articles was at the top with a whole list of relevant search terms and his turnover grew from 140 thousand to 1.8 million. There are many more great success stories. Because that's what the brothers and their friends from upMention do; when you're on the Google stage, they're applauding.