Shop Talk

Ask Your Fans to Help Choose Tags for Your Artwork

Now that we’re officially in the thick of September it’s time to start thinking about our old friend holiday shopping season. Yes, it seems early, but in the world of “making stuff and selling stuff,” it’s important to stay ahead of the game. But how does one do such a thing within the noise of the Holidays? On Redbubble, the best way to get a jump start is by prepping your shops to make sure hungry holiday shoppers can find that creative gift (like a t-shirt, throw pillow, or notebook featuring your art) that makes the folks on their shopping lists the happiest slices of humans in the whole wide world. For Redbubble customers, it’s all about the perfect gift that speaks directly to their loved ones, and a product featuring your work could be that perfect gift.

There are many ways to improve your shop, and we’ve linked to a bunch of tutorials below, but today, let’s talk about using proper tags on all of your products. Tagging is one area within the Redbubble experience on which artists often slip. It’s easy to use too many, too few, or no tags at all. But how do you choose which tags to use? How do you describe your work in succinct, searchable words that will help Google and Redbubble’s search function surface products featuring your art? Easy. Have other people choose tags for you.

Here’s how.

Reach out to your friends and fans on social media

On Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, ask your followers to describe your art. Post a link one of your works (or entire Redbubble shop) and ask them, “If you were going to search for my work on Google, what words do you would you use?” or “if you were describing my work to someone who had never seen it, what would you say?” Make sure they know your objective so they don’t simply say, “GREAT!” “COOL!” “WONDERFUL!” or stuff like that. Some adjectives are okay (like “funny,” “clever,” “light blue,” etc.), but you’re not looking for positive reinforcement, you’re trying to find ways to land at the top of Google and Redbubble searches, which can lead to sales.

The point of this exercise to view your work from the outside. Sometimes when we’re too close, we miss the most obvious stuff.

“Speed is Relative" by joshbillings

Pick and choose the best words

Hopefully, your followers will be able to describe your art with valuable keywords. Let’s say you’ve created a work like Josh Billings’ “Speed is Relative.” Words your fans could use to describe it would be “tortoise,” “sloth” “funny,” “illustration,” “cartoon,” “turtle,” and more.

So if someone is looking for “funny tortoise laptop skins” for their lazy friend who loves reptiles, these tags will make it so this work has a very good chance of landing in front of her eyes and ending up being the best gift ever.

Add those words to your works

In the “Manage Portfolio” section of your shop, it’s very easy to edit and add tags by hitting “Quick Edit” and popping in those great crowdsourced keywords for any of your works. You can add up to 50 tags per work, but you want to be very careful not to overdo it. Also, never tag spam or use words that are misleading. Don’t toss the title of a popular movie or actor in there just because some unsuspecting searcher might stumble onto your work after searching for movie news. Nobody likes being duped.

Visit the FAQ for "Manage Portfolio" help

Fun fact: In our previous post on tagging, we learned from Redbubble artist Janis Zroback that it can be beneficial to spell tags multiple ways such as the words “color” in the U.S. and “colour” in Australia or elsewhere since Redbubble has a worldwide audience.

For more on updating your shop for the Holidays:

View additional posts by Jen Durant

Jen Durant

Redbubble Artist Relationship Manager