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A quick look at the ways personalization should be implemented into your website

Jeff Bezos’s vision for personalizing customers online experience back in 1998 has become a reality for many e-commerce sites and is fast becoming a game changer for online retailers. We have not seen personalization be adopted by many of the non-retail web which is interesting. Many businesses still believe that their homepage only needs a ‘one version fits all’ approach, regardless of the fact that it is the main doorway to their business. Businesses spend vast amounts of money trying to market to their customers on a 1-2-1 level but overlook or misinterpret this approach on their website. This shows there is a massive opportunity being missed

– Jeff Bezos

So why personalize?

To understand why personalization is so important, take a look at how people interact and engage with websites, and how their online experience affects their buying behaviours. Check it out not only from a content, tone and promotional point of view but also from placement of that content, which is equally important.

We know that an effective website is one that builds trust with its user and influences him or her to take a preferred course of action. From layouts and typeface, to colours and CTAs, each element plays an important role in engaging users and creating profitable conversions. Users crave recognition. It’s human nature and where there is human nature there is the possibility to influence and help.

Remember that users tend to scan websites in a Z- shape or an F-shape. Users like to read from left to right and from top to bottom but on average will only read 20% of your site. It’s critical to make sure what they are seeing is relevant to them.

Mentioning a user by name and using pronouns like ‘your’ helps establish a relationship. Using slang or colloquial language in error messages humanizes a site. Personalized content based on the user’s previous behaviours cuts to the chase and gets them straight to the content they are interested in.

Maintaining consistency in the placement of your personalization helps any user to confidently navigate a website and keeps them on the road to your objective of making a purchase.

Implementing other tactics which invoke feeling of scarcity and urgency have shown to increase sales. Scarcity or limited time offers can be used in marketing to invoke anxiety and fear of missing out (FOMO) and leverage the fear of a shortage to sell more.

Understand your e-commerce sales funnel

A funnel represents the journey that potential customers travel as they move toward becoming paying customers.

For home page personalization, common goals include to decrease the bounce rate, increase dwell time and increase email subscriber conversion. Mid-funnel KPIs typically refer to product and category pages. It’s simple: the more visitors you can get searching and browsing on your site, the higher your conversion rates will be. With the increased popularity of blogs on e-commerce sites, for which many visits are single page visits only, increasing product page views from these visits has become more important.

For the bottom of the funnel, you will want your personalization to track conversion-to-sale rates, but also values such as average order value and revenue per visit.

Detailed macro (*) and micro-conversion KPIs for an e-commerce funnel

Page types and placements

typically, these page template types are the ones that need to be optimized:

Home page

Product category page

Product page

On-site search results pages

Offers page

Mega menus/Primary navigation menus


Order confirmation page

Lead generation landing pages

Pop-ups or header/footer bars containing opt-in offer across all page types

Again, there are many other types, which vary depending on your business sector.

The types of placement available for personalization will be familiar from your site. The most obvious are home, category, product, and checkout pages, but many others are possible. The visual below shows the full range to give you an indication. Search results pages and recommendations within the search box are also important given the proportion of site visits which have search sessions. See the visual below for the essential placements.

Examples of key personalization placements for different types of page template

Here we’ve provided you with a checklist to review your personalization requirements based on options available that you should consider. We also recommend considering run-of-site and run-of-section options where personalization is served across part of the website.

To prioritize your different personalization options, we recommend you consider all the page types on your site as a portfolio, as shown below. Start deploying personalization on your top-performing page types and then roll out the program to the lower-performing pages with less footfall and lower conversion rates.

Reporting and measuring success

It’s important to have a personalization tool which allows you to compare your site performance over time, as well as one which is transparent about how the tool is performing. For example, key statistics such as page impressions, total order value, and overall conversion rate.

Additionally, there should be in-depth reports on each aspect of the tool’s functionality, and their outcomes. The ultimate aim of any performance report should be to provide the user with data on past performance, linked to an obvious action to improve performance going forward.

View the full guide “E-commerce personalization: The complete Buyer’s guide to selecting the best platform” to review examples of personalization used in e-commerce and gain access to a personalization recommendations checklist. 

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Get The Best Of Your Joomla Website – Onsite Seo Tips

Being one of the most popular content management systems in the world, Joomla is used by more than 30 million website owners. What makes Joomla so popular is its features for communities. If you are such website owner, you should consider making your website more attractive for search engines.

Although, there are many extensions for search engine optimization, I just want to share the best among those I had tried and some helpful information about them. In this way, I hope to save you some time and help with the overall process.

The Very Basics

Even if you do not have a clue what SEO is, you’ve probably already heard or read somewhere about its basics. They usually include properly optimized body content, page titles and META descriptions.

To start with, I would like to mention that in order to avoid keyword stuffing do not place your main keyword on the particular page more than 15 times. This includes the headings, the title, the description and the body of the page.

Now, it is time to mention the first module to help you with this task – SEO Generator. This simple module will allow you to automatically create descriptions for all pages on your website by just pulling it from the content. The best thing is that this plugin analyses the keyword density of your page and based on this makes the tags for all of them. You also have 6 different layouts for page titles, and you can easily choose the one you like most. The plugin is available for free download here.

SEO Friendly Redirection

Depending on what server you’re using to host your Joomla website, there are different ways to solve the most common SEO issue – www to non www or vice versa redirection. Here is how to do it depending on whether you are using IIS or Apache:

IIS 7+ Redirection – To make the redirected work you will need to have URL Rewrite module installed and use the following code to make it work:

You can check out the source here to learn how to solve Canonicalization and implement SEO friendly URLS on your web server.

Apache – For Apache web servers to make those important redirects is a lot easier. However, before making any changes in your .htaccess file, make sure you have the original version saved first.

After implementing those basic redirects, you can install Source Redirect Plugin. With this plugin, you’ll be able to implement more complicated redirects all over your website. Some such examples are from desktop to mobile versions or displaying different language versions based on the user’s location. If all this is not enough to make you choose this module, check out its page at Joomla and learn more about its other features.

Sitemap, Headings, SEO Friendly URLs and More

Although, this module first started as a free one, today you can get it for 35$ per year. This might seem a lot to spend, but with its help, you’ll be able to improve a large majority of SEO factors, which are likely to influence your positions on Google. Some of the features of the SH404SEF are:

SEO friendly URLs

Removed duplicate URLs

Automatically creates URLs for your content

Allows you to access Google Analytics from your Joomla administrative backend

Ability to insert H1 Tags into the Joomla content-heading and component-heading headings

You can still download some older versions of the module free online, so if you are not using the latest version of Joomla you might avoid paying for it. Furthermore, for Google analytics there are plenty of other modules to choose from such as the Google Analytics Tracking Module and J!Analytics.

Now it seems that the only thing left to do is to implement a sitemap on your website. That way you will ensure that Google is indexing your website properly. The modules I recommend are XMap and JM Sitemap, since they work with all versions of Joomla. With both modules, you’ll be able to exclude particular pages from your sitemap, which is important for websites that sell goods or allow user registration.

Finally, you should create a chúng tôi file and place it in your root folder. Depending on what you want, you can:

Allow the indexation of everything:


Prevent the indexation of particular folders or files:

Allow: /folder/file.htm


After installing and configuring all the modules I’ve mentioned on my list, you are now ready to compete with all the other websites in your niche. Here are the most common SEO issues covered:

SEO friendly META Description and Page Titles

Proper Keyword Usage in the body of your pages (including the H1 Tags if you had used SH404SEF or you had entered them on your own)

Your website redirects from www to non www or vice versa

You had removed the duplicate URLs from your website

All of the URLs of your website’s pages are search engine friendly

You have properly configured and have working sitemap

You have working chúng tôi file

You can track the website’s traffic in Google Analytics

Your website shows different language versions based on the user’s location

The mobile version of your website is properly separated from your desktop one

My last tip is for organizing the whole SEO process. You can either use Woorank to check what onsite SEO factors you’ve covered, or try this basic SEO analysis framework to check if all best practices are implemented properly.

How Writing And Revisiting Your Teaching Philosophy Can Fuel Your Practice

Many of us write teaching philosophies early in our careers. Returning to those same beliefs years later holds the potential to refresh our practice.

In my 28th year of teaching, I find myself rereading a teaching philosophy I wrote upon graduating from college in 1994. It’s a statement I revised in 2002, then again sometime between 2012 and 2023. Now, here I sit in 2023, reminiscing about all that I once believed. 

What I read rattles me a bit: At times, it feels like education evolves slowly, yet other times progress abounds so quickly that I don’t know if my 1994 ideals have kept up. What holds true, and what has changed, across my years in education?

At its core, my current teaching philosophy is quite similar to that first draft; it serves as an internal compass, a reminder of purpose, my north point. Rereading it helps me realize that classrooms, communities, and content change, but this original compass has not—it has kept me from getting lost.

I was once inclined to lead with statements like “All kids can learn” and “I want to create lifelong learners.” I still hold these beliefs, but reading them with seasoned eyes, I have greater insight into the “how”—the strategies that can make these and other elements of my philosophy possible in the classroom. 

Below, I share tenets of my philosophy and strategies for enacting them—gleaned from decades of practice—with the overarching invitation to pen your own teaching philosophy that might, as it has for me, serve as a guidepost as you grow through every stage of your career.

Provide Choice 

We learn when we feel motivated, when we feel curious. I know this about myself, and I believe this about my students, which causes me to want all students to feed their natural curiosity. So often, by their teen years, students are trying to make their way through the school day one lecture or worksheet at a time, parsing literature or poring over math problems that don’t feel relevant to their lives. Is this just a rite of passage? 

Lead by Learning 

Orienting yourself as the lead learner in the classroom is crucial to helping students move forward in their own learning. I notice that students are more fully engaged when I, too, am engaged and transparent about my own curiosity. 

If I ask my students to write, I write with them. If I ask my students to read, I read with them. Though there are many days when I am conferencing with students or leading mini-lessons, taking just a few moments to read and write together produces powerful, connected learning and a sense of community fueled by authentic, adult-modeled inquiry.

Ask Questions—Then More Questions

We ask many questions as teachers (and lifelong learners). There is power in realizing that quality questions are not just yes/no questions, but probing questions—ones that make you tilt your head and think before you speak. 

Asking deeper questions not only improves self-reflective teaching (e.g., How can I become a better teacher? How does writing change if we start with conversation first? What are better ways to build community in my classroom?) but also coaching and conferencing with students (e.g., What would happen if you flipped these paragraphs? How does the behavior of this character make you think self-acceptance is the theme of your book? Before you begin, what does the end product look like to you?). Open-ended inquiry moves thinking and discussion deeper.

Learn from Students

As for lessons that transcend the learning environment, I think of a time when a student I knew well began delivering his valedictory speech to classmates. “There’s more to me,” he said with tears, “than I let on in this class.” 

“How true,” I thought. How true that this student’s statement describes all of us, in everything we do. There is more to us than we let on in any given situation, and his insight serves as a reminder for me still. 

Be Flexible

In education, everything is always shifting. Lessons need modifying, calendars need adjusting, and assignments sometimes need to be scrapped. Just today, at the end of third-hour, I said to my students, “This wasn’t exactly how I envisioned class going today. I want to change…” and proceeded to make adjustments. 

When plans don’t work, it’s important to make peace with flux—to remember that the best instructors are flexible enough to admit when something isn’t working, are open to change, and are models of adaptation, teaching young people, by example, how to respond to the unexpected.

Your Turn

In a politically charged, standardized-test-driven educational climate, how can we hold on to the belief that what we do makes a difference? 

Philosophy and pedagogy matter most in the face of conflict and change. Helping students feel confident, powerful, and prepared makes me feel worthy as a teacher, and returning to my “why” reminds me that the classroom holds this potential. 

To ground your own practice, no matter if you are in your first or 15th year of teaching, pen your own paragraph, diagram, or bulleted list representative of your teaching philosophy. Does it align with your original approach to education? What has changed, and what stays the same? How might you share your philosophy—and strategies for enacting it—with others?

Is Covering Your Laptop’S Microphone And Camera A Good Practice?

Recently Mark Zuckerberg made the news when a picture showed him with his laptop, and the camera and microphone were covered up. This set everyone discussing it as to whether it was necessary or whether it was leading too much into paranoia. We decided to pose this question to our writers and asked them “Is covering up your laptop’s microphone and camera a good practice?”

Our Opinion

For the most part, we found that many of our writers believe covering up the camera and microphone is a good idea. While Derrik doesn’t have a laptop anymore, he does believe it’s a good practice to not have the camera and microphone available. When he did have a laptop he uninstalled the Linux module for cameras and just used a USB camera when he needed to.

Mahesh also believes it’s a good idea so that you’re not sharing anything with “spying eyes.” However, he wants to make sure people are doing it because they feel they should, not just because Zuckerberg did it. After that picture made headlines, he saw websites teaching everyone how to do it, informing everyone they should do it as well.

Trevor figures there is always someone smarter than him who might want to use his information to steal his identity or mine it for someone else. He sees it as a good idea even if you’re not a person of interest like Zuckerberg. He compares it to locking the door on your house or not writing your PIN number on your ATM card: preventative.

Charnita sees it as a good practice if it makes you feel comfortable but not just because it’s a new trend. She rarely uses a computer that has a camera or microphone so doesn’t worry about it. She doesn’t see it as important in her case, whereas she can see how it would be important for Zuckerberg. She jokes, “If someone wants to watch me stare at my screen all night long, they must be really bored.”

I very much agree with Charnita. I don’t see anything wrong with it, but I don’t necessarily see the point for someone like me. To me, it’s a little too “foil hat.” I’m usually on my iPad and not a laptop anymore, but I still wouldn’t be worried about it if I was. They wouldn’t see or hear anything interesting other than me talking to my family. Maybe they’d heard some good gossip, but that would be about it. Maybe it’s ignorance on my part, but as they say, “Ignorance is bliss.”

Your Opinion

Laura Tucker

Laura has spent nearly 20 years writing news, reviews, and op-eds, with more than 10 of those years as an editor as well. She has exclusively used Apple products for the past three decades. In addition to writing and editing at MTE, she also runs the site’s sponsored review program.

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How To Help Your New Website Get Indexed On Google

Imagine this. You’re an entrepreneur with a hot new product. You’re about to launch your website, sell your product, and change the world.

All you need to do is get your website up and running. Oh, and you need to get it to rank, too.

So, how are you going to do it?

Is it possible to create a new website and start ranking on the first page of Google in just a few weeks?

The old-school SEO companies used to claim they could get a “first position” ranking for your company. Today, the SEO game is much different. You can’t guarantee or get first-page ranking with the same bag of black hat tricks. Today, there’s a new content-driven, user-focused approach to SEO.

The process is different, but it is still possible to get your website ranked quickly. I’ll explain how.

Know What You’re Targeting

First, you need to define what it is you’re trying to rank for. There is no such thing as simply ranking. You have to rank for a given keyword.

As you prepare your site for first-page success, decide what keywords you’re trying to rank for. I recommend selecting a few long tail organic keywords. Long tail keywords consist of more than four keywords. They provide the best level of focus and concentration for your site’s SEO.

Marketing Hub wrote a succinct post that defines long tail keywords and factors that proves its power.

According to Moz’s research, long tail queries account for more than 80% of all organic traffic on the Internet.

Here’s why this is important. If you want to rank for a head term, you have virtually no chance of ranking, let alone in the first few weeks of your site’s existence. For example, let’s pretend you want to rank for the term “mobile phone”.

Based on a keyword grading analysis from Moz, this is a hotly contested term.

The sites on the first page of Google have extraordinarily high Domain Authority — as high as 100 (Wikipedia) and 95 (Samsung). You don’t stand a chance.

If so, then it’s in your best interest to choose a longtail term.

If you want to rank on Google, first define what keywords you’re targeting, and then you can move on to the tactical methods described in this article.

Make Sure You Have a Search Optimized Foundation

The foundation of great SEO begins with a good CMS (content management system), and a good website.

I recommend you build your site using WordPress. WordPress is the world’s most popular CMS for good reason. It’s intuitive, powerful, customizable, and provides a great platform for SEO.

WordPress by itself, however, doesn’t mean that your site will be optimized. You must select a WordPress theme. A theme is the way that your website looks, and how it works.

Tips for selecting a theme:

Use a theme that has good support. You can probably find a bunch of free themes, but they may not have the level of support you need.

Select a theme that is lightweight and fast. Site speed is a critical SEO factor, so you want to choose a theme that does not have bloated code. I’ve found the Genesis Framework by StudioPress to have some of the best and strongest coding.

Choose a mobile optimized theme. A mobile and responsive site is now a requirement for search optimization. According to Google’s mobile algorithm, a site that is not mobile friendly will not be as likely to appear in mobile search results.

Once you’ve got the right theme, I recommend you conduct the next step — installing an SEO plugin. An SEO plugin like Yoast doesn’t do SEO for you. It simply makes it easier for you to do SEO.

Yoast is my choice for SEO plugin, because it provides full functionality for most of the critical SEO elements (apart from SSL and caching, which are handled by other plugins).

I consider these three features — the right CMS (WordPress), the right theme (your choice), and the right plugin (Yoast) to be foundational to a search optimized site. You don’t have to take my recommendations regarding CMS or plugins. If you follow the steps below, you’ll still be able to rank on the first page of Google.

Don’t Allow Your Site to be Indexed Until it’s Ready

Your new website is like a Christmas present. You want it to be wrapped up and put under the tree until it’s time to open it up.

Like a good Christmas present, you don’t want anyone to see it until it’s time to be opened.

To do this for your website, you can create a chúng tôi that tells the search engines not to crawl your site. You may also add a noindex and nofollow tag to the site’s header. In WordPress, you can do this by adjusting the site’s privacy settings. Your website hosting provider may even allow a cPanel password protection if you want to add another layer of access security to your site.

The moment you want your site to be live, you should remove these tags (and the password), and let the indexation begin.

Create a Ton of Content

This is where the true SEO power is — creating content. Content is what makes the search world go around.

The most powerful way to propel your site to the top of the SERPs is by developing a lot of content before you let your site get crawled and indexed.

I recommend creating long form content. The exact definition of “long” is debated. Most people agree that long form content is an article or page consisting of 2,000 words or more. What’s indisputable, however, is the impact that long form has in the search results.

SerpIQ discovered long content is correlated with higher search results. In other words, the more content on a page, the higher that site ranked in the search engines.

When Moz measured word count and search ranking, they found a similar trend. Longer content received better indexation, higher ranking, and more backlinks — all ingredients to a successful website.

My research and testing corroborated these findings. Long content like the kind I publish on my blog gets stellar rankings, compared with equivalent and high-quality content of a shorter length.

To help your website get ranked quickly, here is what you should do:

Create at least 25 longform pages.

Make each page focused, high-quality, and relevant for your target audience.

Use keywords or semantic variants in the page titles.

Make these pages 2,000 words or longer.

Once your site goes live, it will make a major indexation splash, and start to soar in the SERPs. Even though many SEOs know that longform content works, it’s hard to actually do the hard work of creating it.

If you do the work of creating the content, then the search engines will find you and rank you accordingly.

Keep Creating Content

Don’t simply create the content and stop. Keep at it.

The search engines reward websites that have a regular output of high quality content. Based on Moz research, the freshness of your content influences its ranking.

One of the things working in favor of a new website is the fact that it is new. Due to Google’s algorithm, newer websites — or recently updated websites, to be more precise — are likely to edge out more authoritative sites that publish content less frequently.

As an example of this, check out the following SERP (with scores from Moz). The top ranked page for “credit card score” is a page on chúng tôi Notice that this page outranks both chúng tôi and chúng tôi Why is this the case?

One reason is chúng tôi has been updated in the last two weeks. The other two sites have not been updated recently. Even though they have hundreds of thousands more backlinks, double the page authority, and more rank, CreditKarma steals the show. Even though it’s the new kid on the block, it gets higher ranking due to regular updating.

The takeaway is straightforward. Even though you may gain great ranking, you cannot rest on your success. You must continue to create great content if you expect to maintain your position.

Promote Your Content

Finally, you need to get people to read your content.

Many times, a site won’t get recognized by the search engines until it gets recognized by users. Why is this the case? It has to do with the impact of user metrics on search ranking.

Moz considers this to be one of the top ten categories of the Google algorithm.

This introduces a bit of circularity into the issue. In order to get high rankings, you must have a lot of searches and visitors. But in order to get a lot of searches and visitors, you must have high rankings. Which comes first? How do you jump into the cycle?

The answer lies in promotion. Don’t simply publish content and expect it to magically become an overnight sensation. It’s up to you to promote it.

Here is what you can do:

Email newsletters

Sharing it with influencers and asking them to share it on their social networks

Posting it on Facebook

Posting it on Twitter

Posting it on Google+

Posting it on LinkedIn

Posting images on Pinterest

Posting it on industry forums

Promoting it using PPC

Syndicating it

Don’t do anything dumb like buying links on Fiverr. Instead, go through the typical social and sharing channels.

Notice again, the algorithmic factors analyzed by Moz. Directly underneath “user usage” is the category, “Page-Level Social Metrics.”

Page-level social metrics are things like Twitter and Facebook shares. The more social signals that circulate around your page, the better it’s going to rank. You can impact this significant algorithmic feature by promoting your content as hard as possible.


Ranking on Google isn’t complicated. The fact is, not a lot of people are willing to put in the hard work required to make a ton of high-quality content. It is demanding, but successful. Start with right foundation, and start pushing out the best content you possibly can.

Have you helped a new website rank quickly? If so, how did you do it?

Image Credits

How To Personalize Your Iphone Home Screen With Custom App Icons

With the release of iOS 14, Apple gave its users more flexibility with their Home Screens. We’ve been telling you all about Home Screen widgets; how to find and add widgets, create custom widgets, and the best apps that offer widgets. So if you’ve gotten a taste of how wonderful Home Screen customization can be and want a bit more, you’ve got it!

Not a new option, but certainly one worth mentioning is creating custom app icons for your Home Screen. Maybe you’re not fond of the icons for specific apps or perhaps you simply want to use images of your own. With the Shortcuts app and the images you want to use, here’s how to personalize your iPhone Home Screen with custom app icons.

Featured Home Screens by @

Icon packs and custom widgets

Featured Home Screens by @ rslashAC , @ Sarrafkoo , @ PrettySickly , and @ wholelottajenni

If you want to replicate something like the image above, you’ll probably want to download a nice icons pack. These have existed for years but they’re receiving renewed interest since the launch of iOS 14. Search for iOS icons packs on your favorite search engine or on Twitter, and chances are you’ll find something.

To get you started, here are a few places where you can find icon packs for your Home Screen.

For added pop on your Home Screen, you’ll also want to create custom Home Screen widgets as well.

Create custom app icons with Shortcuts

To add new icons to your Home Screen, you can simply change the icon for the app to one of the built-in Shortcuts options or pick your very own image. We’ll show you how to do both! Open the Shortcuts app on your iPhone and follow these steps.

1) Tap the My Shortcuts tab at the bottom and then the + sign at the top.

3) In the box that appears, tap Choose and then select the app you want or use the Search at the top to find it.

4) Tap the three dots on the top right.

5) Give your shortcut a name. You can have the name of the app icon different on your Home Screen using the steps below. This step simply names the shortcut in the Shortcuts app.

From this point, the steps can vary. This depends on whether you want to pick an icon or add your own image.

Pick an icon

If you want to select an icon from Shortcuts:

a) Tap the default icon.

b) Choose Glyph and make your pick. Optionally you can select a Color.

c) Tap Add to Home Screen.

Add your own image

If you want to use your own image:

a) Go straight to Add to Home Screen.

b) Tap the icon below Home Screen Name and Icon.

c) Select Choose File, Choose Photo, or Take Photo and follow the prompts for the option you pick.

6) Give the shortcut for your Home Screen a name and tap Add.

7) Tap Done and then Done again.

With both of the sets of steps above for the type of app icon you want to use, there is a longer version of steps where you tap Next instead of the three dots to create the shortcut. Then from All Shortcuts, tap the three dots for the shortcut and follow the steps above to add it to the Home Screen. This is just another way to create the shortcut to open the app and a longer one at that.

Since using the Shortcuts app is basically a different way to open an app (but with a different icon), there are bound to be downsides.

Another downside is that you will not see any badge icons you’ve enabled for the app. The shortcut you create is only to open the app and does not include this type of feature.

Wrapping it up

Even though it looks like a lot of work to create custom app icons, once you do it the first time, the process will seem simple. And it may just have you creating tons of app icons for your Home Screen!

Want more spacing on your Home Screen too? You can also use Shortcuts to create blank icons!

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