"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 still an extremely important measure of search performance. With so many personalized, localized and device centric results being thrown out, understanding accurate rankings is probably more important now than it ever has been. Having said that, when judging search performance you shouldnt get fixated on 1-2 keywords and instead look at the broader picture, but there is no denying that generally higher rankings mean generally more traffic.
What are your favorite strategies to get your site or content ranked in the Google SERPs?
We focus on building websites and content that are optimized to answer the intention of the searcher, we dont focus on keywords but instead focusing on content strategies and UX that allow people to engage with our clients websites. Without this covered all the links in the world wont help you.
What would you say are the 3 critical elements to be covered in an SEO site audit?
The basics are still important, accessibility, usability and relevance. The biggest mistakes we see revolve around hidden content, canonical issues and soft 404s
What features do you think are missing in mainstream SEO tools? Are there any processes you'd love to see automated?
A tool to fully understand CTR which isnt Google J I think most tools are in the market place, but to be honest although automation is helpful, nearly everything we do has to be double checked manually.