Long tail keywords are keywords that are not searched as often as other phrases related to their topic. Long tail keywords are often 3+ words long, and often reflect a highly specific searcher intent.
The phrase “long tail” comes from statistics. In a given set of keywords, most of the searches focus on a relatively small number of high-volume phrases. In contrast, the majority of keywords do not receive much search volume.
Some marketers have erroneously started to refer to “long tail keywords” as phrases that include a lot of words – however, a long keyword is not necessarily long-tail. If it is searched a lot, it is not a long tail keyword.
Long tail keywords are relevant to marketers because they are often less difficult to rank for that more popular phrases. In addition, a long tail keyword often represents a highly specific problem that a searcher is trying to solve – creating content for that keyword may result in attracting a more qualified audience, and in turn attract more customers.