Redbubble Update: Shortened Product Descriptions

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Have you noticed that your carefully-penned Redbubble product descriptions are displaying wrong? It's not a glitch. Read more in this short article...

Introduction

Descriptions on Redbubble allow the artist to communicate to the potential buyer. It can be a sales pitch, background info on the creation of the artwork, whatever you want. There are two main locations you see the product description. The first is on the shop page for an artwork.
The second place you see product descriptions is on each product page. It appears below the product preview images, about halfway down the page.
I’ve written some long product descriptions in my day. One of my original descriptions on Support Main was five paragraphs. 278 words 1,635 characters.  It was a good big block of text to tell a long-form story that would interest the reader and hopefully convert to a sale.

Truncated Descriptions

​I’ve noticed over the last few weeks [in December 2020] that Redbubble hasn’t been displaying my full product descriptions below my products. They are getting truncated severely.

So I did a character count of the text that does show, before the cutoff. It measures out at 256 characters. This was true for several designs that I checked.

So that suddenly created a big job for me. At this point I had uploaded over a hundred artworks to Redbubble. I now had to go into the description for each one and severely edit them to fit within the newly imposed character limit.

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Recommended Post

What is the Golden Keyword Strategy?

While you’re updating your descriptions, you should update your keywords too. Learn about changing the order of your keywords to increase customer retention.

Consequences for Artists

What does this mean for you as a Redbubble artist? You must fit whatever you want to say about your artwork within 256 characters, or it will be cut off. It seems most RB artists already have descriptions well below this threshold, so that’s good. But for anyone who is particularly verbose, like me, we’ll have to do a lot of rewriting.

A downside I can see is that you have less opportunity to pack in search engine optimisation. Before you had ample space to add as many keywords and phrases as you wanted. That is no longer so.

Although, that may be a benefit. It forces the artist to be much more straightforward. No waffling, no distractions. You have to very briefly describe you artwork, and tell the viewer why your artwork matters. Make sure you include the most important keywords for your artwork.

If you need help making descriptions that are the exact right length, I’d recommend using WordCounter, a browser-based text editor. It’s completely free, no sign-in required, and even has a spellchecker. I write all my descriptions in it, and I immediately know how many characters and words I’ve used. This isn’t a paid promotion, I just find it really helpful. 

 

Conclusion

I’ve got to say, I’m also disappointed in Redbubble for not making a formal statement about this change. It does have a big impact on my, and many other people’s, online stores. Now many people’s descriptions need to be edited to avoid being cut off mid-sentence or mid-word. If this applies to you, I suggest getting editing your descriptions as soon as possible.

What changes to Redbubble have you noticed lately, that have gone undocumented? Leave a comment below and let me know!

Peace, love and sunshine,

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