"Rankings continue to matter more and more for SEO." What is the importance of Rankings in 2015 as far as you're concerned?
I believe I also commented on this on Inbound.org here are my thoughts. We are pretty much at the point where if a client (in pre-sales) is focusing on rank tracking, we cut the deal loose. I've pretty much completely eliminated rank tracking from my life (agency and personal.) More has changed in SEO from 2014-15 than from 2010-2014 and one of those things is ranking, positioning. How can you rank track something that is no longer static?
What are your favorite strategies to get your site or content ranked in the Google SERPs?
Write good content and share it with people that care.
What would you say are the 3 critical elements to be covered in an SEO site audit?
Site audits are pretty key in my line of work. UX is one of the biggest factors that we focus on. Why? Well, poor UX will lead to high bounce rate, people not wanting to link to your site, and people not wanting to share your site on social media. Content is also a big part of our audit. We like to not only look at the obvious stuff like keyword density but take a deep look into their blog, resources and news pages to see how well they are reaching their audience. We also like to look into their social media channels. We are firm believers that social media plays a huge role in SEO and that a site that has active social media channels is more likely to have good success with SEO.
What features do you think are missing in mainstream SEO tools? Are there any processes you'd love to see automated?
I really don't use SEO tools. I use Screaming Frog and Webmaster Tools and that is pretty much it. I take a very holistic approach to SEO and inbound marketing and don't rely on tools for reporting or doing SEO. More has changed in SEO from 2013-1 than it has 10 years before that. We are living in a world where users are much more savvy than they used to be, and dealing with a very volatile algorithm that relies on quality, and is very difficult to game, so we don't even pretend to try.