Meet the Derby students helping company break into digital marketing world

Three University of Derby graduates lined up, two of which who now work at Eighteen.
Ben Prior (far left) and Monty Savage (far right) graduating from the University of Derby last summer with their classmate Lucie Cartwright (middle). Photo: Monty Savage

by Holly Hunt

Nowadays, it is becoming increasingly difficult for companies and their websites to be found in the ever-evolving world of Google. However, one company – which includes Derby students – believes there is an easy solution to tackling this problem.

Eighteen, an SEO company founded in 2023, aims to catapult any website to the forefront of Google searches.

Included in the team at Eighteen are two University of Derby students who helped form the company as it is today.

Monty Savage and Ben Prior both attended the university as digital marketing students and graduated last summer with first-class degrees.

Monty said: “Eighteen is the exact type of agency I’ve always wanted to work for.

“When they approached me during my Master’s degree, I decided to endure some hectic months to show them my loyalty and work ethic.

“I really would go to the trenches with these boys.”

In addition to his role at Eighteen, Monty has also taken on a postgraduate course in marketing management.

Both alumni said they had taken the skills and lessons they had learnt from the University of Derby and turned them into a well-deserved career within the company.

Ben said: “Having come straight out of university, I was desperate to test my knowledge in the real world.

“I have learnt huge amounts and have been able to put my university skills to great use.

“Joining Eighteen was a fantastic opportunity for me.”

Founded by Ronnie Cane and Mike Friend, Eighteen aims to specialise in helping businesses further their online presence, particularly through improving their search engine optimisation strategies.

The logo of the company
The logo of Eighteen, the new digital marketing company. Photo from: Monty Savage

One of the many success stories highlighted by Eighteen involves their work with Survey Hut.

Before collaborating with Eighteen, Survey Hut saw a modest 173 visitors per month on their website. After enlisting the help of those at Eighteen, this number increased to 585 visitors per month.

While SEO growth remains the main goal of Eighteen’s services, the company has also ventured into website development in order to help more clients.

By creating these websites from scratch, Eighteen aims to maximise the relationship between SEO phrasing and user-friendly website design, ensuring that the website is automatically one of the top results on Google.

Eighteen says this then allows them to help clients gain traffic organically, as well as then convert those visitors into customers through well-designed websites.