web design

How SEO and Web Design Go Hand In Hand?

Wondering how search engine optimization and web design go hand in hand & why does it matter to your business? If yes, there is so much to tell you about! Come, let’s dive deeper into it.

If you’re managing a business or a website, then good SEO can help you with your digital presence.

How will you determine a good SEO?

Good SEO will scale your business presence online and helps you in branding and lead acquisition, which is still a dream for many people.

Do you know, SEO and web design go hand in hand with one other? It is because a poor web design will definitely make a negative impact on Google and various other search engine’s guidelines. And that is why it really gets important for your business to optimize your website design according to SEO norms.

Come, let’s now have a look at how Calgary SEO Companies believe SEO and web design are related to each other and why you must focus on a search engine optimized website design.

How Does SEO Work?

Before we directly jump into this, let’s have a quick review on how does it (SEO) actually work on Google. Well, the Google search engine makes use of web crawlers to crawl the search engine in pursuit of suitable websites that would likely be able to provide solutions to what users are seeking (search queries).

There are three primary functions served by search engines:

CrawlScour the whole Internet for content, examining the content or code for every URL it finds.

Index Store and manage the content found in the crawling process. And once a webpage is indexed, it is going to be shown to some relevant queries.

RankShow up the content that answer’s the searcher’s query best. The results are ordered in most relevant to the least relevant pattern.

What Matters For Search Engines?

Although it’s a technologically advanced and fast-paced world, but web crawlers still rank your website based on its text. Primarily, this is why it’s been suggested by many marketers to get all your internal linking and main pages simple to read and organize well. If not, you risk it being really hard for the web crawler to fulfill its job effectively.

It does not matter if there are sliders, videos, flash images, gifs, and attractive animations; still, there should text-based content present on the website.

PRO TIP – Making use of things such as Google web fonts is going to make it simpler for Goggle to read your website content, whereas sites such as Link Now can help you with the optimization thing.

Remember that – in the end, Google simply wants to read your website thoroughly. It is also going to reward you if it feels so. And this is what you need to hold in now and beyond. Let’s now have a look at some specific areas:

Fundamentals

There are some core elements that set the stage for optimized website design process.

Hosting

Hosting in an important thing! A slow-running site makes users unhappy. Updated rules should be followed while hosting. You need to be situated where your target audience is situated. Try to be more platform-specific and quick, to make out the most.

Domains

Ensuring your domain makes sense and relates to what your business does is super important. No need to be fooled by thinking adding keywords in domain name is going to help. This only seems to be a draft; so be sensible in it. In fact, ensuring that all sub-domains and variations are effectively pointing on the website & re-directing to every canonical version of the website is important too.

CMS (Content Management System)

CMS is going to decide a lot of things. WordPress is one great option preferred by many businesses. It is wired up in a way Google can understand. This is not to mean WordPress is the ideal choice every time, but indeed it is one great starting point for many businesses. You only need to be certain that the CMS you choose is the right one for your business requirements.   

Internal Linking

It is important to make crawlers discover your internal links. And for that, you need to ensure all the tools and primary navigation let other webpages to be discovered easily.

PRO TIP – There are many tools that can help you in this, and Screaming Frog is one amongst the list!

XML Sitemap

The XML sitemap makes search engine understand a website structure while crawling. As you pass more data to search engine, you can know webpages that are more valuable and hence give them a priority.

Follow W3 Norms

Google love clear and well-organized code. Well, who doesn’t? Clear code can make the site index easily, and often exhibits how well the site is designed. Following W3C norms further make you write semantic code, which is actually a good thing for SEO.

Optimize Images

Images are an important element of the website. However, many times it gets overlooked when it happens to SEO optimization. Integrate some effective tricks and have superbly optimized images.  

Clear Homepage  

A clear homepage makes it easy for Google to understand what your business does and how it can help the users seeking for the services you’re already trading in. Therefore, make sure to include important things such as your services, keywords, company name, testimonials, nature of your services because this is what Google is actually looking for.

In fact, make sure to get all these in a text-based format so that it gets easy for the Google crawlers to crawl it. And if a crawler is not able to find it, then my dear friend, it is completely worthless for you, as no one is going to visit your website anyway.

Use Heading & Sub-Heading Tags Carefully

Ensure to make the right use if heading tags in your website content. Heading tags provide Google with data on the structure of the html document. Many times, they also give more value on these tags as compared to other text.

<h1>Heading</h1>

<h2>Heading</h2>

<h3>Heading</h3>

<h4>Heading</h4>

<h5>Heading</h5>

Use JavaScript Cautiously

Many businesses make use of JavaScript overly in their whole site. Google crawl through different site to index them and then decide their rankings. If the site has an over usage of JavaScript, Google will find it hard to understand the site and will cause crawling problems. JavaScript don’t even works well on smartphone devices.  

URLs

Web crawlers usually use the structure of the Uniform resource locator to get the context of your site’s internal links. The best thing to be followed over here is by staying consistent with the structure and names of your internal links. It would work great if you keep it as clear as you can.

Let’s suppose if your website is an online business offering online education courses and books, then you should do blog posts on topics such as:

Why should students consider reading our notes?

How can academic revision notes help you score better?

Now, suppose its

.com/reading-our-notes

.com/7-15-2019/

.com/score-better-marks

Have you noticed how does the second link is going so out-of-the-way? In fact, in such a case, Google is going to get in figuring out what this is and hence will not give the credit for posting the blog. Hence, it becomes a must to ensure that website URLs are consistent, aligned, and address the search engine that is a post all about.

SEO and Web design Altogether

This is how SEO and Web Design go hand in hand. It gets essential for you and your business to consider how web crawlers and your users will perceive your website. In addition to this, get a website designed in such a way that it is simple to navigate so that anyone can know your offerings.

Let’s Fix Your Web Design and SEO Today!

Understanding the connection between web design and SEO is the key to strengthening your website. It is also your path to maximizing your website’s potential and finding ways to reach out to the target audiences.

If you are thinking of redoing your site but do not know where to begin, then Calgary web design can help you with the best. 

Connect with us and request a design quote. Let us know precisely what you want, and we can start working on your web design and SEO!

5 Stages Of Design Thinking In 2019

Design Thinking refers to a methodology for the generation of innovative ideas and focuses on the perspective of end-users. In this way, problems and needs can be detected, as well as offering effective solutions and in many cases, alternatives, for each of them.

By name, it seems that it is only linked to design or advertising. Design Thinking is becoming more important in recent years since the IDEO consultancy began to talk about the subject and currently, this company has become one of the main exponents of Design Thinking.

Today, we will mention the five stages of Design Thinking and what each one entails, in case you want to put it into practice in other projects that are not totally related to design.

Empathy

Empathy is the ability of human beings to identify with certain people and understand their feelings. As you can imagine, this is the essential phase in which designers or group members try to know and understand end-users more deeply. It is not only about knowing data and statistics but about analyzing situations, understanding the life of users, as well as the different problems and needs they have.

To develop empathy, it is not enough to observe users but to get involved with them through a conversation in which they can share their point of view and you must try to listen carefully. It can be difficult to develop a degree of empathy with end-users, but this phase is the basis of Design Thinking, so it must be done with great patience.

Define

Once you get to know the difficulties and problems of the end-users in-depth, you can move on to the next stage. As part of this phase, you must evaluate all the information collected in the previous stage and keep only that which brings value and is relevant to be able to meet users, as well as have a more accurate idea of their daily life.

In the first phase, apart from knowing the routines of the end-users, you will be able to recognize a wide variety of problems and needs. Since not all of those problems have a solution or you simply cannot solve all the problems of the end-users, as a company, you have a certain approach to a single item or a couple of items, so it is impossible for you to solve all their problems. It is essential, then, to define what are the client’s problems according to the area of the opportunity offered by each particular problem. In this way, by having a series of specific problems you can focus on taking the necessary measures to reach a definitive solution.

Devise

As the name implies, in this phase the process of generating ideas begins based on previously established problems. The goal is to have many solution alternatives and not go in search of the best solution, at least for now. All team members should be encouraged to participate in this session and present their opinion and point of view. No idea should be discarded and you can use various creative methods such as brainstorming or mind mapping, any strategy that is more appropriate for your team.

Particular work must be done to create an environment in which all members feel able to contribute and give ideas, without being judged by them. It is essential that a free and trustworthy environment be created, where no idea is questioned.

Prototype

The purpose of this phase is to convert the idea or solution you have reached into a digital or physical prototype. It should not necessarily be an object, but also a drawing or even a storyboard. Prototypes can be made with materials such as paper, cardboard, plasticine or lego blocks. These economic materials are usually used when the project is in its initial stages and is improving as the project shows progress.

As you should know, a prototype within the web design process is usually one of the final elements with which the user can interact and is used to perform tests. In the case of Design Thinking, as we have already mentioned, the prototype can be made with materials and tools based on the available budget. The great advantage of using this approach is that gradual improvements can be made to the prototype without spending too much.

Evaluate

At this stage, tests are carried out with the previously made prototypes and users are asked for their opinions and comments on the matter, based on the use of the prototypes. It is an essential phase in Design Thinking because it helps identify errors and possible shortcomings that the product may have. Based on the tests, various improvements can be made to the product.

Despite being the last phase, you may encounter various situations that require returning more than one stage back in the process. For example, if you realize that you have not defined the problem well, then it is necessary to return to that stage and start again from there. Otherwise, you will most likely return to the prototyping stage to refine certain details or include new features.

Conclusion

As you have seen, Design Thinking is closely related to the design process and even some of the phases are very similar. The main difference is perhaps in the depth of analysis of all phases. Although the web design process also has certain phases, each person adapts it according to their needs or preferences. Also, in the web design process, there is already a specific product that you want to develop. On the other hand, Design Thinking serves to generate ideas and products based on the needs and different problematic situations of the users themselves. For this reason, it is not only used in fields related to design but also in any company in which they wish to offer specific and innovative solutions.

Tips To Achieve A Great Website Design In 2019

Website design is not a simple task. You have to take into account various factors from the client’s objectives to having to deal with limits in the budget. The entire process is based on planning and the ability to communicate with your client and the other members of your team. In this article, we bring you some tips or guidelines that can be useful when designing a website.

Plan from the beginning of the process

Every great web design starts in the planning. The first step is to define the objectives of your client. If possible, always keep them written on a paper every time you are working on the project. You start the research phase and collection of references based on these objectives.

Many designers and app development companies make sketches on programs such as Photoshop. It is recommended that you always do the sketches for yourself, although there are programs that can help you in this process. However, working with pencil and paper can be positive to improve your creativity.

Use a grid in your digital design

Using a grid will help you better position all the elements of your site. It is a basic technique that all designers and app development companies employ. Grid is essential in the layout to organize your elements and work based on columns. Working with columns help you better organize the different sections of the pages that make up your website.

Another benefit is that the grid helps you work on your design when you want to adapt it to other screens.

Consider using a framework

Frameworks such as BootStrap are quite useful when designing for various devices. The best part is that it is free, has extensive documentation and a large community. Other popular frameworks for HTML5 are Foundation, Skeleton, Gumby, among others. You have a series of options to choose the one that is most convenient for your project.

We recommend using all the web resources you can find. On the web, you can practically find any resource that you propose, from icons for social networks to backgrounds and fonts.

Communicate all the details with your clients

Communication with customers is essential to know if you are going in the right direction. Finally, the design must be aligned with the needs of the. After all, the customer is the one who knows the end users best, so do not dismiss their opinions so quickly. Rather, use this knowledge to your advantage to create a design that is attractive to users.

Another possible problem of poor communication with the client is that if you do not understand their vision and expectations from the first meeting, the final result of the project will probably surprise the client. It is important that in each phase, particularly in the sketching phase, the client approves the ideas that arise in the process. The first is to define what the client’s objectives are. You may not tell them directly, so you should make sure you ask the right questions to understand your client’s vision.

Take into account the hierarchy and the relationship between each component of your design

In design, every element is important for the message you want to convey. Recognizing the importance of every element in a design is essential to achieve a great design. In this way, you make sure you pay attention to each element separately, regardless of its level of hierarchy in the design.

Consider all the devices where your design can be seen

Nowadays, designers and app development companies consider all devices that can access the internet. This is a fact, so you should consider the other devices where the website and app could be used. In this way, you can optimize the experience for each device.

The goal is for the experience to great. Also, there must be some agreement between the design for mobiles and computers. That is, it must be felt in some way known to users. Another important aspect to keep in mind is the loading speed of the websites. You must make sure you do not use a lot of resources or the page will not load quickly, which in many cases translates as a high rebound rate.

Carefully select the type and colors you will use

Both typography and color help you generate an environment in your compositions. Both elements can reinforce or weaken the message you want to pass with the images of your site. If the elements that make up the design are not in sync, you can confuse your users. So always keep in mind the message you want to convey and ask yourself if the sources you have chosen help to strengthen that message. It is important not only to choose a source that reinforces the message but also a fully readable source.

Apart from carefully selecting the typography to use, you must also take into account how color affects your design. Each color you choose has a meaning and generates emotions in people. Therefore, you must make sure to choose your color palette carefully.

In conclusion

Your ability to organize, your level of attention to detail and your communication skills are the greatest tools you can count on to achieve a successful website and app design. No matter how much knowledge you have about programming and color theory, you will not be able to design a web page and app without planning the whole process.

Tips for Setting up and Running a Successful E-Commerce Website

If you’re on this page, you’ll agree that globally, e-commerce is a strongly growing domain with no signs of decline. Digital buyers are increasing worldwide, recent global studies state that in Western countries 46.4% of people now buy online, and will increase to 47.3% by the end of 2018. There are many industry experts that say it is an excellent time to build an e-commerce website and start selling online.

And it’s true.

You may find many online tips on ‘How to Build an Online Store, Online Selling, and Online Store Website Builders’ for example, all are very informative and effective. But one of the pitfalls of e-commerce in 2018 and the foreseeable futures is that retailers can fail if they don’t figure out the consumer’s ever-changing shopping behaviour and adopt new evolving technology trends.

According to statistics, retailers opened 4,080 more stores in 2017 than were closed, and statistics point toward over 5,500 more by the end of 2018.

What is important to note, e-commerce business is growing, and it shows a rise in market volume, sales and revenue not only in top-performing economies but developing countries too. But as we mentioned above online stores are shutting down too.

The reason is they are not able to keep up with the change in trend, new technology adoption and the ever-changing shopping behaviour of customers.

I have written this post to help you create an online store, sell, grow and make it easy for customers to buy by adopting changing shopping behaviour, trends and technologies on an online storefront.

Omnichannel Experience

In the same token, build an end-to-end online shopping experience. But take note: your omnichannel presence must be strategically aligned with your marketing strategy and brand experience. Omnichannel is now the standard. And retailers who continue to invest in their omnichannel strategies will succeed; those that don’t will fail.

Promote product quality, transparency, and sustainability on the store to flourish. Furthermore, try to provide unique in-store experiences to engage your customers. 78% of businesses rate the importance of integrating e-commerce and in-store experiences as vital.

Make Buying Easy

Adopt an easy to use and secure payment solution. Make efforts to adopt mobile payment solutions.

Invest in Smaller-Format Stores

Look to accommodate consumer desire for more specialised selections as specialty stores are proving to be more productive than department stores.

Add Personalisation

 According to an Accenture Interactive study, 56% of consumers are more likely to shop at a retailer in-store or online that recognises them by name.

Retailtainment

Additionally, there is a growing fusion of retail and entertainment. In this the retails try to provide a unique experience to customers with fun to elevate the shopping experience.

Data for Retail Success

 More retailers will apply data to every part of the retail process, from the supply chain to the post right through to the purchase stage of the buyer’s journey. Look to utilise business intelligence and AI to make data-backed decisions and outperform those who don’t.

Ship it the Customer Way

Same-day shipping will likewise grow more prominent. As per a recent study in Australia, 82% of shoppers surveyed want same-day shipping, while 63% want their packages within 1 to 3 hours of placing an order.

Shopping Apps

Retail-centric apps will increase, and we can expect merchants to leverage them to stay competitive.

Email, Social, Push Notifications and SMS

Multi-channel marketingtargeting consumers at each stage of their path to purchase through email, SMS, push notifications, and more will cease to be an afterthought. As a matter of fact, they will become a baseline necessity for successful marketing moving into 2019.

Retail and Technology are now Integrated

Artificial intelligence, augmented reality and virtual reality, are future technologies for e-commerce businesses. They elevate and personalise the buying experience at every stage of the customer’s journey. And now with the latest use of parallax scrolling, coupled with the industry as a whole moving at a rapid pace, we will see integration become more intensified as we move into 2019.

E-Commerce Apps

Glass touchscreens, and fashion store apps. Although not as widespread, augmented reality shopping apps are working as multiple touch points and interactive components of storefronts.

E-Commerce Marketing

Conversely, add marketing accurately. Dedicated roles should be assigned to experienced search marketers to infuse creative strategies. But above all creating and implementing engaging customer experience oriented marketing campaigns. It’s a very competitive industry and today’s marketplace is littered with companies that rarely achieve results. And some firms lead you to believe otherwise. Be sure to check out other customer experiences before you make the jump.

Third Party Tools and Platforms for Selling

Retailers looking to sell their products on Instagram use solutions like Like2Buy, Tapshop, and Soldsie to make photos shoppable. Retailers are increasingly using third parties to get their products into consumers’ hands quickly and easily.

Are You and Your Retail Business Ready for the Future?

When looking for the right developer to create your e-commerce website, look for implementation specialists. A complete e-commerce solution company. They should be able to create online store websites, storefronts, web-stores; set up e-commerce websites and deliver high conversion, multi-device functionality. A top development firm will also provide custom e-commerce development for businesses to get more out of their sites.

What’s Next?

What are you waiting for? There’s no better time to get involved and get excited. This is a fantastic time for online retail, so start thinking about designing your website and look for your new developer.

Top 7 SEO Tips to Enhance Your Web Design

The design of a website is the foremost thing that strikes a user when he visits a website for the first time. A good web design will definitely have a long lasting impression on the mind of an individual and will prompt him to visit the website again. From the perspective of a business, the design of its official website plays a vital role in making it successful over the Internet.

However, the efforts that are made in enhancing the design of a website will be of no use if the users are not able to view it in the search engine results. Therefore, it becomes necessary to develop a website by taking into account the necessary SEO principles and make it search engine friendly.

The objective of this post is to showcase the top 7 SEO tips that will enhance the web design.

1. Include High Quality Content

You can find a number of posts all over the Internet that emphasize the importance of using quality web content. A website without content is similar to a person without a name. Content is one of the important components that search engines look forward to before making a website rank in the search results. It is important that at the time of designing a website the content needs to be placed in a well-defined manner on it. This includes proper headings, paragraphs and the required links. It becomes crucial that the planning of the content that has to be included on the website is done during the design stage itself.

2. Search Engine Friendly Navigation

Including the latest design trends in a website is necessary, however, it doesn’t mean that in achieving so the navigation of the site takes a hit. It is recommended to use only those methods or techniques that are web crawler friendly and accessible. The website that makes use of Flash will make the crawling process difficult for the search engines. Instead of making use of CSS and JavaScript for inserting the design effects is a better option as it would not affect the search engine rankings.

3. Include Keywords in URLs

By including keywords in the website’s URL will act as a description for the content that is placed on the site. The URL must be such which is easy for the search engines to crawl. It is recommended to customize the URL and change the pre-defined special codes that are used for the URL of the page. Some of the popular Content Management Systems like WordPress will give an opportunity to customize the URL of your website and make it search engine friendly.

4. Add Alt Attributes For The Images

The images that are included in a website should have an alternative description. All the alt attributes of the images should be 100% W3C compliant, however, this can be made up by adding some sort of text. These alt attributes are read by the search engines and prove to be an important factor while matching these with the search query that is fired by an individual. The search engines also have an image exclusive search section where the alt attributes play their part in ranking the image based searches. When the images are not displayed these alt attributes describe these images.

5. Keep The Web pages Updated

A website acts as a source of information especially if it is a blogging platform. Try including some portion of the latest posts on your web pages. Search engines give preference to the websites that keep on updating and changing their content. This is an indication that the website is active and live. The crawling frequency of the search engines increases when updations are made in a website’s content.

6. Add Unique Meta Data

Most of the times, while creating the template of a website the web designers don’t change the meta data. Due to this, the various pages will end up using the original placeholder information. The page titles, keywords and descriptions should all be different. The meta data should be exclusive to every page. This is one of the ways in which a search engine becomes aware of the structure of a website.

7. Block The Unwanted Pages

There are certain pages on a website that the search engines should not index. These pages should not be made available for the web crawlers as these may lead to duplicity issues with the search engines and also have a negative impact on your content’s density. Consequently, the rankings of the website will be affected.

In The End

The main objective of a business is to increase its customer base and a website is the best way to achieve this. Above mentioned are few of the useful SEO tips that should be strictly followed while designing a website. I hope that these will make your business website rank higher in the search results that will ultimately reap profits for you.

Please let me know your views about the post in the comments section below.

Altering And Improving UX With Visual Design Elements

UX, or User Experience Design, is a strategy of designing websites with the goal of user satisfaction.  The focus is on improving the usability and accessibility of the website and making sure that the website visitor enjoys the website, rather than just using it as a means to an end.  While UX is officially a different method than visual design, the two methods are best used together, to create a website that internet users enjoy.

Visual design is a very important aspect of UX.  Through visual design, a website relies on images, color choices, shapes, typography, and form to improve the overall user experience with the website.  Since users decide whether to trust a website based on their visual perceptions of the website, rather than content, design is incredibly important. Visual design uses elements like colors, images, and symbols to convey a message to website visitors and create a positive first impression.

ux

Elements of Visual Design

Visual design consists of several elements, which work together to create a website that is pleasing to the eye.  Lines are the most basic element, and they are used to connect two distinct points, define shapes, create divisions, and create texture.  Shapes are created from lines   and are self-contained areas with defined boundaries.

The color palette chosen for the website is very important.  There’s a psychological impact on website visitors from color choices, and those colors create positive or negative reactions.  Colors can be used to differentiate items from each other, organize information on the web page, and add depth and emphasis to your website.

Texture, since a website is not three-dimensional, is all about perception. Texture is used to create a perception of how a surface should feel, and by repeating certain elements, texture is created and patterns are formed in a person’s perception.  Texture can be used to either deter attention from or attract attention to a particular section of a website.

Typography refers to the usage of fonts to create particular perceptions.  Fonts can be perceived differently, depending on their size, the alignment used, the color of the fonts, and spacing with words and lines.

The last major element of visual design is form, which refers to the perception of 3-dimensional objects.  These objects need to give a feeling of size, including volume and mass, and this is done by combining shapes and using carefully planned colors, tones, and textures.

ux

Considerations of Creating the Visual Design

There are a number of aspects that must come together to create a good website that people enjoy.  Gestalt is a rather vague term that refers to helping people perceive the website as an overall design, rather than its individual parts, and one of the important parts of Gestalt is unity.  Unity means that the elements of the web page seem to belong together, either visually or conceptually. Similarity is also used to give the feeling of unity, by creating a sense of continuity throughout the design, which also helps the users learn quickly how to navigate the website.

Space is another important part of visual design.  Space is really only defined when something is placed within it, so white space only becomes effective when used with other parts of the design.  This white space, as it’s known, can be used to improve the readability of your website, along with reducing clutter.

The hierarchy of a page is another important aspect to consider.  Hierarchy shows the difference in significance between particular items on the page.  Items at the top of the page are perceived as most important, and you can use placement and different fonts and colors to create that perception of difference.

Balance and contrast are two items which often use each other to create a particular perception.  Balance creates the impression that there is equal distribution throughout the page, although this does not necessarily mean symmetry.  Contrast is used to make certain items stand out by emphasizing differences in size, color, or direction.

Scale and dominance are other ways to create contrasts between items on the page.  Scale refers to the size of items, and uses the differences in size to demonstrate how items relate to each other.  Scaling can also be used to establish dominance, which means that one element is established as a focal point, with the others being subordinate to it.

ux

Incorporating Visual Design into UX

There are many ways to incorporate visual design into the User Experience Design and to incorporate visual design elements into the website.  Use a grid system and take advantage of design patterns to give a feeling of balance in the website layout.  Rather than concentrating on placing all the important information above the fold, learn to use the fold as part of your website, to encourage people to continue on below it.

Using subtle lines to connect components of the website will create the important perception of unity throughout the pages.  Animation may be incorporated into the website, if it’s appropriate, but should be used sparingly.  The goal with your website should be a clean, simple design, and one of the ways to continue with that idea is to rely on flatness through your website, rather than glossiness.  Glossy finishes create too much distraction and noise for visitors.  Too much clutter on your website can overwhelm visitors and cause them to leave the site.

Most importantly, be consistent throughout your website design.  Visual design focuses on continuity throughout a website, which creates a sense that everything belongs.  You can use all the elements of visual design to give your website visitors pages that they can intuitively navigate and feel welcomed.

Final Words

Visual design focuses on the aesthetics portion of UX (User Experience Design).  Visual design ensures that the website looks good and communicates the right message to viewers.  Really, visual design and UX should be intertwined to create the best possible website for users to enjoy.  It’s nearly impossible to separate the importance of both.  The two kinds of designs may be done by separate designers, but it’s important for both designers to work in collaboration with each other to create a great design.