Shop Talk

How to Choose the Best Keywords for Tagging Artwork

Tagging on Redbubble is a great way to make sure you’re getting the most amount of views on your artwork. With proper tagging practices, you can use specific keywords to bring your artworks to the top of search results on Redbubble and search engines like Google, which can result in discovery and sales. And now with our new Manage Portfolio page, tagging is easier than ever. To edit your tags, just hit “Quick Edit” in the manage works page, and off you go.

Tagging is so important and one of the most under utilized tools available for artists trying to encourage new and wider audiences to purchase their artwork. By making sure all your Redbubble artworks are tagged, have descriptions, and appropriate titles, you can get the most out of Redbubble and other search engines.

Here are 5 tips for how to better use tags. If you have any other specific tips or tricks, make sure you leave a comment below so our community can hear all about it.

1. Don’t use full sentences

When tagging your work on Redbubble, ensure that you’re not using full sentences to describe it like you’re speaking about it. This is sometimes tricky because we aren’t taught to communicate in single words, and our brains naturally want to fill out or give context to the words we use. In this way, tagging kind of goes against everything you’re taught about communicating, by encouraging you to leave out punctuation and connecting words (the, to, it, etc.).

For example, in “Room for Dessert?” by littleclyde, it wouldn’t be good to tag it with something like:

“A happy octopus eating candy and cupcakes.”

Instead, try to strip it down and just use keywords that describe the work like:

“octopus, cartoon, cupcake, candy”

Now when people search RB for works featuring an octopus or cupcakes, this work has a better chance of surfacing at the top of the results.

Here’s what littleclyde used when tagging “Room for Dessert?”:

2. Google watches descriptions

Make sure you fill out your artist comments, or descriptions about each artwork you upload to Redbubble. Google keeps track of Redbubble descriptions and sweeps them to help with SEO (search engine optimization) ranking. If you haven’t filled out your descriptions, you aren’t doing yourself any favors if you’re trying to get more views on your artwork.

3. Drop the grammar

There is no need to add grammatical specifics to your tags. Think about the way you use the search box on Redbubble.com – you just  enter one or two words and there’s no need for complex grammar. When viewers are looking for an artwork by theme they usually only input that one word and are presented with a cross section of products.

A great way to see the kind of tags you should be using (and how they’re used without grammar or punctuation) is to search for a word you’re considering using for a tag on Redbubble. That way you can see which artworks are appropriately tagged and have surfaced to the top of the results.

4. You don’t need to add the medium or product type

It always surprises me how many of our community members might not know this, but there’s no need to add tags that are specifically about the work’s medium or product on which its printed. You can leave out words like “illustration” or “tote bag” because we use a selector tool on the artwork upload page to insert these tags for you. Instead, try and focus on descriptive words that you see when you look at the artwork.

Think about adding in keywords which are specifically:

  • Locations and full proper nouns (e.g. Golden Gate Bridge)
  • Color palettes (e.g. pastel, fall, grey)
  • The subject of the artwork (e.g. zombies, soccer balls, penguins)
  • Techniques you’ve used (e.g. vector, pixel, digital painting, repeat pattern, typography)

5. Multi-words tags are okay

One last thing to remember is that multi-word tags are okay. So tagging your photo of the Grand Canyon with the two word tag “grand canyon” is just fine. When you use multi-word tags, both words will end up in searches for just one of those words, so if you input “London Bridge” as a tag, it will appear in searches for both bridge and London. This way you’re getting the best of both worlds, and it means you won’t have to double up on keywords so you can keep your tags to a minimum.

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