It’s not that designers need to be getting people to visit sites, but that search is creating the new context of design, both from a visitor-perspective and from a client-perspective.
Visitors now enter websites from every angle. Visits are uncontrolled, and designs need to expect to be encountered without the context of the rest of the site.
Sponsors expect monetization from Search. Each page is a landing page, and each page requires a conversion process, including the homepage.