Comment on WordPress Theme SEO by Erik.
It’s been 2 weeks since I implemented the “auto thumbnails” feature (found in the “SEO Advanced” menu section) on my main index page and in comparison to the previous 2 week period I have seen improvements, with time on page increasing, and exit rate and bounce rate both decreasing slightly.
I have made a few other minor design changes in the meantime but I think this supports the idea that the thumbnails feature could be a good way to keep visitors more engaged with content and on the site longer, especially if you have posts with some nice attention-getting images.
Either way, I think it definitely makes the main page look sharper. So for anyone else out there I’d recommend trying this feature if you’re not already.
Just a note on getting the right image to show if you have a preferred image–in my experience I have found that the “featured image” option doesn’t seem to work, unless I am somehow setting it wrong, but I don’t think so. Rather, it seems the last image inserted into the post is the one that it automatically treats as the default image. So something to keep in mind if you are doing a post with multiple images and wish for a particular image to be displayed.