I watched Matt Cutts talk about SEO URLs in a video on his blog (http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/seo-site- ... e-io-2010/), and he says (I'm only partly paraphrasing here):
I wish that he had gone into more detail about this, because this was only partially reassuring for those of us who might want to abandon the effort involved in creating SEO URLs. (And I can't HELP but notice that his own blog uses them!!)If you're building a site from scratch and can have a few keywords in your URLs, fine. But if it's an 8 month project to rebuild, don't worry about it. If everything else on your site is pretty good, don't get that worried about your URLs.
Several years ago, I jumped ship from MonsterCommerce (R.I.P.) because they would not even make it a priority to provide them, but they *would* happily charge a premium to publish an alternate version of your pages using them in Monster Marketplace (I think it was called). I noticed that my sales picked up after that, but that might also have been coincidence, because my store was so young then.
I've had keyword URLs (as we called them then) for several years, so I have nothing, really, to compare to. I've always been careful to pack all my keywords into my product's title itself. It seems that that, and adding keywords to the footers of category pages, is what brings me traffic.
I'm wondering about the actual experience of folks from more recent times, especially since search engines finally figured out how to handle dynamic URLs? Do you think SEO URLs help your sales, or don't think there's much of a difference? How would they compare to making sure your page title is really descriptive?