What are Organic Search Rankings?

Organic Search Results

As you delve into the world of law firm internet marketing, you might start to feel like you’re trying to read a foreign language. SEO, PPC, CMS, blogging, conversion improvement, local search marketing and organic search. Think of us here at Thunderhead Marketing as your translators.

The lesson today is organic search results also known as natural SEO rankings. No, these don’t involve a lack of pesticides, more expensive fruits and vegetables and hemp clothing.

What does Organic mean?

Organic search listings, also called natural search listings, refers to the list of web pages that come up in a search engine based on their relevance to the search phrase you typed in.

Go to Google.com and type in a search term. Whatever word or words you type in, you’ll get a list of search results. At the top of the search results (with a light pink box around them) and along the right side of the screen will be paid listings — Pay Per Click ads that companies pay to have come up on the first page of results when people search for certain keywords.

Below the pink box of PAID listings will be the ORGANIC listings. With me so far? Organic search results are based not on who paid the most to get them to show up, but on the search engine’s determination of which web sites are most relevant to what you are looking for.

If you’re learning more about this whole attorney SEO thing, then you are hopefully aware that coming up high in search results is good for attracting clients to your law firm. As such, you might wonder why you shouldn’t just shell out the money for one of those PPC ads, come up on the first page of search results automatically and wait for the clients to flock to you.

But that might not necessarily be the way things turn out. Before you make up your mind, here are some pros and cons to organic search results.


  • Trust – I’d argue that the biggest advantage to organic search results when it comes to finding a law firm is the trust factor. If an attorney website comes up Number 1 in an organic search, that means Google (or Yahoo or Bing) has determined it is highly relevant to whatever you searched — not because the space went to the highest bidder. That alone carries weight with many web users.
  • Better conversion – Because organic search results are likely to be more relevant, it’s also more likely that the traffic you get will convert to clients.
  • Cost – It doesn’t cost anything to come up high in an organic search result. While a Search Engine Optimization company can help you rank higher, once you get to the top of the rankings, it doesn’t cost you any money when web users click on your listing.


  • Rankings not guaranteed – Coming up high in organic search results for targeted keywords takes work. Researching the best keywords to target, optimizing your site to those keywords and marketing your content to gain backlinks are a few of the things Thunderhead Marketing does to help clients rank higher. Pay Per Click advertising is instant and guaranteed.
  • Time – To rank high in an organic search will take time. The work mentioned above doesn’t happen overnight and is a continuous process to not only get high in the rankings but also to stay there.

The reality of online marketing is that everything is a balancing act. Organic search results are important, and PPC listings have their place, too. If you’re trying to find clients for your law firm on the web, the first step is showing up when people are looking for what you’re selling.

For help juggling the process and driving the best traffic to your law firm’s website, contact us today.