Multiple Featured Images for Better Search Results

Multiple featured images will improve how your content looks in search results!

For images, many in SEO give simplistic tips like use keyword-rich alt text. This just looks spammy versus describing the image accurately.

However, optimizing how your images look in search results will definitely boost engagement.

This is easy to overlook though since there isn’t a single source of truth in Google’s documentation. Useful info is scattered because image optimization differs by context.

Responsive images in HTML aren’t enough because these may look great on pages in your own site but not the search results themselves! Google and other search engines will do their best without your help, but you may end up see a zoomed-in, sloppy effect.

Here are some featured image best practices:

  1. Use image file formats supported by Google Images that can be crawled & indexed.
  2. Use high-resolution images of at least 50k pixels regardless of context. In the past, Google suggested as high a minimum as 800k!
  3. Create these images with aspect ratios of 16×9, 4×3 & 1×1 to account for various devices.
  4. Use structured data to mark up these images via the image attribute in whatever category defines your content like Article, Product or Recipe.
  5. Have one image at least 1200px wide to improve the likelihood for inclusion in Google Discover (a personalized mobile experience), defined by the ‘max-image-preview: large’ setting or Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).

Final tip: ensure your Open Graph metadata mirrors your structured data as well, since Google may prefer the og:image.

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