Google does pull up the metatags for a site, but also takes the additional step in scanning the page for keywords (for validity).... just as most search engines do these days.
First of all, your designer did a terrible job in terms of making sure your site is ready to be pulled by search engines. You should not pay another dime to that person. It's something that designers are expected to do by default. Defining the "Title" in the header portion of your code is one extremely helpful way of defining your site to search engines.
A couple of additional tips:
-Add alt tags to the images on your site
-Use header tags and bold fonts to emphasize important key words (but don't overuse this)
-Try to have your important keywords somewhere within the first paragraph of the page.
-Try to lessen the amount of keywords you use in the metatags... too many keywords will confuse the search engine in terms of narrowing down what your site is about
Try this out... this tool will scan your site and tell you how search engines analyze your site:
Just enter your URL and then submit... or if you want to analyze google in particular, select GoogleBot where it says "Spider Robots" then submit