Redbubble Tips and Tricks, Part 2

Here are some more random tips and tricks I’ve picked up while creating my Redbubble shop Tiokvadrat. (If you find this post is helpful and want to say “thanks”, follow me on Redbubble and — if they appeal to you — like a few of my designs.)

Tips and Tricks, Part 1 can be found here.

Redbubble Search Understands Common Plurals

In the Redbubble search engine, plural searches will often match singular tags — for example, the search “large dogs” and the search “large dog” return exactly the same number of hits. That’s because Redbubble understands that “dogs” is the plural of “dog”. One quirk, though, is that the results appear in a different order, depending on whether a design is tagged with “dog” or “dogs” or both.

Redbubble Search Doesn’t Understand Rarer Plurals

The tag “bowman” is different from “bowmen”: if you type each term into the Redbubble search engine you will get over a 1000 hits for “bowman” but fewer than 100 hits for “bowmen”. In this case Redbubble does not understand that one is the plural of the other. Therefore, if you want to get your design to be found for both searches, you will need to add both tags to your design.

Redbubble Search Doesn’t Understand Tenses

The Redbubble search engine doesn’t cope with verb tenses either. A search for “work” yields over 200,000 hits, but variations in tense like “worked”, and “working” hit far far fewer designs. In general, its the base form of a verb (or noun) that returns the most hits. (However those tags are well saturated with designs already and you are unlikely to rank well for any of them.)

Not All Designs Work On All Products

It common to hear the advice “Put your design on all products. You never know what will sell.” That’s such a bad idea. Redbubble almost certainly monitors the “click through rate (CTR)” on your designs. If your design is shown often in results but no one ever clicks on it because it’s ugly, your CTR will decrease. (This is also why, over time, designs with irrelevant keywords will start to disappear from keyword results, and explains why keyword stuffing with irrelevant terms is a bad idea.) Just disable the ugly products or upload an alternative image for them.

Add Your Shop Name as a Tag

If you add your shop name as a tag to each of your works you will easily be able to find all your products in the Redbubble search engine. For example I tagged all my sock patterns for the Euro 2020 football tournament (sadly now cancelled) with the tag “euro 2020 tiokvadrat”. Now, if I want to quickly see all those designs I can search for “tiokvadrat euro socks” in the Redbubble search engine and see all 39 sock products on one page. I can even use the URL as a target for promotion purposes if I want.

Which Tags Are Useful?

  • People’s names (essential for fan art).
  • Colors (essential for patterns and abstracts).
  • Locations (essential for photographs).
  • Text (like “ok boomer” – essential for text memes).
  • Style (“hippie, retro, art deco” – essential for patterns).
  • Topic/subject matter (“trees”, “cats”).

What other tags should I consider?

  • Your shop name (helps you to find your stuff).
  • Prepositions and conjunctions (see below).
  • Hobbies and occupations (essential for targeted memes, for example “fisherman, yoga instructor, dentist”.

Choose “Optimized”

When you upload your products to Redbubble the Product selector now allows you to choose “Optimized”. This seems to replace the old “Image only” option. However it seems the algorithm now tries to present the best view for the customer. The jury is out on this one, some of the older Redbubbler’s don’t like it, but it seems likely to help your product stand out in listings.

Got Patterns? They’re Hard to Sell!

Try these tags, they are some of the more popular and may help you hit the long tail:

1920s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, abstract, aesthetic, africa, art deco, art nouveau, artsy, beautiful, black, black and white, blue, bohemian, boho, chic, classic, clean, colorful, contemporary, cool, covers, cute, dark, designer, diamond, doodle, elegant, ethnic, fancy, fantasy, fashion, floral, flowers, fun, geometric, girly, glitter, gold, gothic, gradient, graphic, green, groovy, grunge, happy, hippie, hippie, hippy, hipster, india, indian, indie, interior, lines, mandala, marble, metal, minimalist, modern, navy, orange, pastel, patterns, peach, pink, pop art, popular, pretty, psychedelic, purple, rainbow, red, retro, rose, simple, spiritual, spring, style, stylish, summer, teal, trend, trippy, vintage, white, winter, yellow, zen

That Thing About Prepositions

When it is needed, include “the”, “and”, “on”, and “for” in your title field or tag field. For example, if you search Redbubble for “solar system”, you will find that there are more than 4,700 hits. Now search for “the solar system”. You will find that there are only 705 hits. It’s going to be much easier to rank against 705 rival designs than against 4,700. Therefore, include the “the” somewhere in either the title field or the tags field when you upload. You will still match the search “solar system” anyway. Some other common examples are: “salt and pepper”, “on golden pond”, “an apple for the teacher”.

Which Fan Art Brand Partnerships Are Worth Targeting?

I’ve been crunching some numbers to try to understand which of the Redbubble “Fan Art Brand Partnerships” are actually worth targeting. Looking at the number of designs uploaded for each brand and comparing it with the popularity of each brand in searches, shows that the following brand partnerships are the ones to target, in this order:

These are the six brands with the fewest designs but the most searches, as of the end of March 2020. (Expect this list to change as the underlying shows change in popularity.)

If you find this post is helpful and want to say “thanks”, follow me on Redbubble and like a few of my designs. You can find my shop here:

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