The aim of so called “organic” or unpaid searching is to get your organisation as high up in the search engines' rankings as possible for certain search terms (keywords) related to your agreed business goals. It is highly desirable to be on the first page, showing the first ten search results. Research shows that some 80% of all searchers click on the first six results.
The major search engines have control of where a site gets positioned in the ranking, using its own algorithms which are not made public for commercial reasons. Therefore nobody can guarantee a high ranking. Be wary of companies that promise this! If a top rank can be achieved then it requires a significant continued effort and therefore cost to keep it. See also Why Optimise?
It can take time to achieve a good ranking as the search engines monitor how popular a site is and adjust their rankings over time to reward the sites that best meet searchers keywords.
It is also important to keep a sense of reality on where a small local business or organisation can get to in the competitive search engine rankings. Top spot will be difficult, but very satisfactory goal conversion can be achieved slightly lower down the rankings. Indeed, there is research that shows that the quality of the visitors from slightly lower rankings can be higher than for the number one position.
You might like to also read our Text and keywords page.