Cold metal transfer (CMT)-based wire-arc additive manufacturing (WAAM) is a promising method for the production of large-scale and complex metallic parts because of its high efficiency, less heat input and low cost. However, a critical and common problem with the arc welding processes is the irregular geometry at the beginning and end parts of the bead due to the ignition and extinction of the arc. Based on experimental investigations of the irregularities and different possible optimization methods, an improvement strategy consisting of configurations with a varying travel speed and an extra return path is presented in this paper. Experimental results show that this strategy can effectively enhance the geometric accuracy at the beginning and end parts of different single beads. In the manufacturing of a thin-wall part and a multi-pass cladding, the improvement of geometric accuracy has also been achieved by this strategy.