upMention is the journey of discovery by three brothers. Arjan, Geerten and Andries, in which we look for the secret of Google.
The journey begins in 1999, when Hein starts a business in his garage. Hein develops software and Microsoft which is still cool, so the name is quickly found: Heinosoft (since October 2021 the company name is upMention). Heinosoft builds websites. Google was founded a year earlier, but in the Netherlands everyone still types the search terms in Ilse - who remembers her?
However, Hein takes a different turn and travels to Peru. And that's how Heinosoft moves to the Delft student room of Arjan, the oldest of us as three brothers. He takes over Heinosoft from him. His first travel companion: his youngest (then still in school age) brother of 14, Geerten. Not much later, brother Andries also joined.
The mission of the journey, to unravel the secret of Google, comes our way by accident. One day our very first big customer (trappen.net) comes with the wish to be found better via the online search engine Ilse. And so begins the exploration of the secret of the search engines.
'We soon discover that getting to the top of Ilse is no secret. It simply comes down to cleverly adding as many search terms as possible.' Annoying for the visitor, so the terms are put in the same color as the background, so that they are invisible to the unsuspecting clicker.
At that time we use the fastest internet in the Netherlands, because we work from a special place… the library of the TU Delft, 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.
But then comes Google
Google overtakes all other search engines right and left. This was partly due to a revolutionary idea that founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin at Stanford University (also as students) are developing: PageRank. As a result, pages are ordered based on the number of times people link from other sites - and how important those sites are. “Suddenly the journey to the top is all about links, links and links again.”
But, of course we were not easy to catch. So we are fully committed to increasing the number of strong links to customers. This is the time of the directory pages' unprecedented success. We and our team do everything we can to ensure that links to customers appear on the various directory pages. And we go beyond that. We build websites and directory pages ourselves, such as stairs.startpagina.nl (which still exists!), where we naturally put our own customer at the top, with the famous 'tip' behind it.
The Holy Grail
Google's holy grail, we discovered, is connection. Within our company and with our customers. You can imagine that improving a website, creating links on other pages and following and measuring a strategy is not a piece of cake.
There are many different parties involved, but if the group does the right things, those high positions will come naturally. So we know that truly sustainable success at Google is a matter of deep collaboration.
This will create the next growth spurt for our company. And so we need more hands. And let brother Andries have a tree nursery in Kenya. That is how we came up with the idea of recruiting technical specialists in Africa and setting up a second branch of upMention there. Not hindered by a lot of international experience, by the way (but, not that crazy, because Google now also has staff in Nairobi) . That's how Richard Kiptoo and Risper Wanjiru join the management.
The biggest challenge
Brings us to the greatest challenge of the voyage of discovery: patience. And so: trust. Know what you are getting into as an upMention customer! We have customers who call us weekly with the question: 'why am I not yet at the top of Google!?' Or take a manufacturer of garden products. Several times he yelled at us: 'I'm going to stop!' Several entrepreneurs in his environment had asked him if he had gone mad, because he had been investing for six months with no results.
Or how about another customer who had to wait a year for results. Look, then you have to have faith in another important element of the secret of upMention: we do everything for the success of the customer. The bigger the challenge, the bigger the smile on our face.
The view on such a journey? The garden articles man was at the top after 9 months with a whole list of relevant search terms and his turnover grew from 140 thousand to 1.8 million. The other example had to wait a year, but went from 10 percent leads via his website to 90 percent and at the same time his turnover multiplied. And that's what we do it for. When you are on the Google stage, it puts a smile on our faces.
This is what you can expect from us
When you go on a journey of discovery with upMention, don't expect easy solutions or smooth sales pitches. We will embark on the adventure together with you and our team:
- As long as you want to grow, we are your party.
- As long as you want to be mentioned, the sky is the limit.
And so today we add destinations to our journey with our 21 specialists. The big question is: are you traveling with us? We always start with a 12-month forecast, so you know exactly what you're investing in.