"Rankings continue to matter more and more for SEO." What is the importance of Rankings in 2015 as far as you're concerned?
Rankings are not just a KPI, rankings are the KPI, that most "SEO Professionals" these days like to downplay, because in this age of the Google Cold War, SEOs have little to no idea how to guarantee rankings for clients.
Yes all other KPIs are important. But without rankings you don't get CTR, which means you don't get traffic, which means you don't get micro or ultimately macro conversions.
And rankings continue to be more important as social continues to get more expensive and crowded. And Adwords spots continue to take up more screen real estate.
And as much as social pundits like to extoll the virtues of social (of which I agree there are many) however, the biggest game in town for most, is still ranking in Google.
What are your favorite strategies to get your site or content ranked in the Google SERPs?
The strategies that 98% of the industry over looks, and thus the algorithms they are not looking to exploit, dumping more money into the onpage keyword and the dofollow backlink bucket, increasing risk and diluting SEO dollars as they do.
I am not saying links don't "work." I am saying acquiring them typically fails a Risk/Reward ROI analysis.
What would you say are the 3 critical elements to be covered in an SEO site audit?
With proper data, one can do an SEO audit on a 100,000 page site very quickly and efficiently.
Correction: The ONLY way to do a proper SEO audit on any site, is through statistics and analyzing patterns.
Everything else is a "from the hip" guess, which is nothing but dangerous to your bottom line.
What features do you think are missing in mainstream SEO tools? Are there any processes you'd love to see automated?
Tools are too big a crutch in SEO. Tools cannot replace knowledge.