In recent trend of semiconductor manufacturing, accurate critical dimension (CD) metrology is required to realize miniaturized three-dimensional (3D) structures. However, the conventional edge contrast of scanning electron microscopy (SEM) is often suppressed when imaging the deep bottom of the 3D structures. In this paper, we propose effective approaches realizing the improved SEM image contrast for such metrology targets. Our approach utilizes the principle of the SEM contrast, and optimizes the three major influencing factors of SEM contrast; signal generation, signal propagation inside the specimen, and signal detection by the detectors. We show the examples of improved image contrast including, embedded voids imaging by high landing beam energy, contact-hole bottom imaging by angular selective detections, and precise edge position extraction realized by energy-angular selective imaging.