There was an old saying that comes to mind, “If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around, will it make a sound?”, similarly if your website is optimized using SEO for a specific keywords and no one uses it to find your website, is it worth it?
Value is Relative
To answer that question, yes… just as value is relative to application, does the tree have more purpose as a bridge across the stream than standing upright before it fell? It all depends on who is on the path and what their needs are at the time.
Similarly, some keywords act as bridges to tie vast segments of synonyms and more competitive keywords together. Their latent value (building authority) vs. their immediate value (as keywords that appear in search engines) are often misunderstood when it comes to increasing relevance within a site.
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