Well not every page needs meta tags so that’s ok. Ideally yes they would all have them, but in reality most pages won’t rank so what’s the point. However the pages you do want to rank for should be properly optimized with meta tags and correct keyword density. If the text on the pages hasn’t changed then it’s pretty safe to assume the KWD density isn’t optimized.
7 links in even a week is a TERRIBLE number. Even my smallest clients get about 100 new links per month.
GMB should have been set up/claimed in the first week.
It sounds like she doesn’t know what she’s doing, so aimed for low hanging fruit – “optimizing” for phrases with low or no search volume. You can usually easily get these types of phrases ranked for just by optimizing a title tag. However as you noted, these pages get zero searches so what’s the point?
A proper search phrase analysis would be a mix of high and medium competition phrases. Optimization for those phrases should include an optimized title and meta description as well as additional on-page visible content around those phrases. If any of those steps are missing (which it sounds like the on-page is) then she hasn’t done her job.
I have 20 years experience in this industry so I know what works. What she has done obviously does not. You will get lots of responses saying the same. Show those to your friend so he can make an informed decision.