Skip to content

DSO Marketing: How to Manage Dozens of Local Websites

Dive into the challenges and strategies of Dental Service Organization (DSO) marketing, including managing multiple local websites and implementing local SEO for dental practices.

Table of Contents

Over the last decade, the popularity of dental service organizations (DSOs) has risen. Among other things, working with a DSO streamlines the operations of dental clinics and enables dentists to focus on their craft rather than administrative matters.

However, the growing popularity of DSOs is contributing to the already-competitive environment. As an added pressure, dental practices that rely on DSOs to market their practice want to see tangible results. This comes with challenges that individual dentists and group dental practices don’t have to consider.

A group dental practice is a group of dentists working together in one location. It is sometimes defined as a group of multiple clinic locations belonging to one practice.

Marketing strategies for individual and group dental practices are similar because each has its own marketing strategy tailored to a specific geographic region.

With a DSO, the marketing team faces unique challenges since all marketing efforts are consolidated even though they span different patient populations.

That means the DSO will have to update and manage multiple sites simultaneously.

Managing Dozens of Websites

While each website is unique, most changes related to marketing are similar across all sites. Marketers adjust according to the latest changes to Google algorithms, industry compliance factors, market demands, and more.

If you are using CMS like WordPress, each small change across websites would require you to sign in and sign out from each dental practice’s account. This can take significant time, keeping your marketing team from pressing tasks.

This is commonly known as “the scalability problem.”

The traditional CMS isn’t designed to handle multiple website management. They also aren’t designed to handle multi-location SEO.

Multi-Location SEO

Multi-location SEO can be considered a form of local SEO. Local SEO is integral to any dental practice marketing strategy.

DSOs managing dozens of practices face challenges with meeting individual location needs. However, the answer is not to abandon local SEO in favor of traditional, or non-local, SEO.

Non-local SEO aims to attract dental patients with keywords that are searched across the entire web. Local SEO targets keywords that are searched by the local patient population.

Multi-location SEO generally follows the principles of local SEO. Otherwise, two practices may find themselves competing for the same non-local keywords.

For example, creating blogs around the “price of dental implants” for each practice could cause them to start competing on search results. This creates a “no-win” situation where the success of one of the DSO’s practices hurts the online visibility of another DSO practice.

Luckily, Google Business Profile is easier to manage than websites. Adding extra locations to your GBP is relatively simple once you’ve been verified for your primary location.

Cross-Site Branding

When handling multiple practice locations, it’s integral to keep branding consistent across all websites. Branding inconsistency could confuse existing patients and hinder the efficiency of word-of-mouth marketing.

All brand changes and additions require simultaneous implementation across all DSO websites. This could turn into a severe challenge for DSOs that handle 50 and more locations.

Tracking Leads

Since all practices that a DSO works with are somewhat similar, tracking leads can be a significant issue. You need a centralized lead tracking method that involves differentiating by practice. It’s hard to see how to understand marketing results without such differentiation.

Lead tracking tools that you are using have to be tuned to the slight differences in practices. This requires a comprehensive approach without room for error. Otherwise, it’s easy to hinder the growth of several practices simultaneously.

When it comes to marketing tactics, a DSO needs to create a comprehensive approach with all the above challenges in mind. Otherwise, you risk failing to achieve marketing goals for some of your practices.

Here are a few tactics to consider:

Local SEO

Since dental patients tend to search for doctors in their vicinity, local SEO for dentists is an integral part of any marketing campaign. A DSO has to design an effective local SEO strategy for each website to ensure its high rankings and visibility to the local audience.

This involves creating unique content around local keywords, claiming and managing Google Business Profiles, working with local reviews, and more. Local SEO efforts differentiate one practice from another on SERPs and ensure consistency instead of conflict.

Smile Gallery

A smile gallery is a visual demonstration of a practice’s success. The before and after photos speak louder than pages of valuable content. Seven out of ten patients won’t visit a dental office without viewing these photos.

Adding a unique smile gallery to each practice’s website can be highly effective. You can reinforce the effect by adding patient reviews and a “thank you” to the photo.

Remember to ALWAYS get patient consent before posting any patient photos.

Reputation Management

More than 85% of patients choose dentists by reading online reviews. Encouraging and managing these reviews are part of a practice’s reputation management strategy. That involves gathering reviews and feedback and implementing them on the website, social media, smile galleries, and other relevant locations.

The best place to solicit reviews is Google Business Profile.

Pay-Per-Click Ads

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads are online ads that appear in front of potential and existing patients when they browse other websites, social media, or search engines. These ads are a fast way to generate leads and bring new patients to your digital doorstep.

Paid search ads are highly effective for dentists since it helps keep the practice on top of the SERPs. It complements SEO efforts and assists with brand awareness.

Social Media Marketing

With billions of potential patients using social media, increasing visibility on social media channels allows practices to generate leads, improve brand awareness, build brand loyalty, and reinforce patient-doctor relationships.

To improve a practice’s social media presence, a DSO can use a combination of organic posts and social ads. With proper management, social media marketing can yield impressive results for each local practice.

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is a strategy that involves showing the benefits of a practice to patients without pushing ads in front of them. Unlike traditional marketing, inbound marketing relies on prospects reaching out to the website rather than vice versa.

This type of marketing focuses on providing a valuable solution to a patient’s problem. A patient processes the information and visits a dental practice to take advantage of this solution.

Inbound marketing includes SEO, reputation management, content marketing, email marketing, and more. The goal is to cement a relationship with a patient who can stay loyal to the practice for many years.

This is done by providing relevant content that attracts views and engagement.

The scalability of handling dozens of websites on a traditional CMS is questionable. It’s not surprising that DSOs are constantly looking for practical solutions. Some of them include:

  • In-house solution – managing each website individually with CMS like WordPress. While possible for a small number of sites, this solution becomes unmanageable for 50+ websites.
  • Dental Marketing Agency – delegating all marketing tactics to a third-party marketing agency. However, with a large number of websites, the costs of such a solution can be high.

Due to scalability issues, most dental marketing agencies can’t handle the volume of work a DSO needs to tackle. Luckily there is a third option: combine the services of a DSO marketing agency with a patient acquisition platform built for healthcare.

Published on
Dec 06, 2022

Written by
DoctorLogic Employee